It was probably 10 years ago when I first heard about Tutta Bella from a co-worker of mine.
Since I was not crazy over pizza in general, I had not been back since.
Tutta Bella was the first restaurant in the Pacific Northwest to receive the highly regarded VPN (Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana) certificate from Italy.
The VPN has strict rules on the ingredients of pizza dough, the process of dough-making, including the dough characteristics, fermentation, and cooking temperature.
Any restaurant wanting to get VPN certified has to apply, and to be assessed and inspected by the association in addition to rigorous amount of pizza-making training.
Recently, Tutta Bella opened an outfit on the eastside, and my Dad likes pizza, we went to check it out!
When we got there, it was Happy Hour.
We got an extremely delicious bruschetta with plump cherry tomatoes.
They were garlicky, a little on the greasy side but tasty.
I was very hungry, started eating them and had completely forgotten about picture!
Once my stomach stopped protesting, I had my phone in hand, and ready for pictures of other dishes.
We had fried calamari.
Flavor was good but unfortunately I did not like the coating.
The calamari was a little soggy and greasy, without the springy-ness of a good fried food.
The salumi plate was great.
Meat was tasty and not overly salty; with pickled peppers and olive, it went really well with my Sofia.
A delicious cocktail with vodka, limoncello, mint and fresh berries, a wonderful summery drink which was perfect in sweetness and could seriously made me drunk before I knew it!
Now, for the reason we went to Tutta Bella — pizzas.
We had the goat cheese with marinated peppers and eggplant and the salsiccia calzone.
The pizza crust was AMAZING!
There was the reason why Tutta Bella was certified.
The crust was crispy on the outside as if they were fried but in fact wood-fire baked, light and without grease.
The crust was also very thin, which usually yielded a harder dense texture in many other pizza joints, and managed to feel fluffy, airy and moist in texture.
Soft and a little doughy inside, just enough to remind us that, yes the crust was made with flour and yeast.
The crust in calzone application just augmented the greatness of the crust, as the baking resulted in a very crisp and light skin on the surface without sauce and cheese interference.
Fresh tangy tomato sauce, spice sausage and little bit cheese and mushroom, the calzone was to die for.
I am very glad that there was a great pizza joint on the eastside now!
My father LOVES donuts.
Every time he came to the States, we went to look for donuts that he liked.
I brought him to Top Pot, Mighty-O and Krispy Kreme before.
Our search had stopped after we found Sunrise Donuts last year.
This small store on West Lake Sammamish in Redmond, opens at 5:30am in the morning and used to close by noon.
Apparently they have changed ownership 6 months ago, and now they open until 2pm.
The donuts seemed to be the same great flavor, taste and quality as before, and we could only hope it stayed the same forever!
Sunrise donuts offers a large variety of donuts.
My favorite was the red velvet cake donut (with or without cream cheese on top); unfortunately with the new owners, they had stopped making them.
They kept the blueberry cake donut which was also very good, and looked like they took away all the cream cheese topping.
I loved the denser yet fluffy texture of the cake donut, and with the abundant blueberry flavor in it that the donut almost screamed healthy!
My second favorite was the chocolate frosted custard-filled donut.
The custard was creamy, eggy with a fluffy donut and nice chocolate frosting.
Another star was the lemon curd donut — the sour sweet lemon curd gave a zing and huge lemon flavor to lighten up the oily donut flavor.
Their raised twist donut, particularly with sugar sprinkles were very light, fluffy, tasty and crunchy with the texture of sugar granules.
A lot of people liked their bacon maple bars as well.
I usually don’t eat donut, but I will eat Sunrise donut with great company!