Since we dined at Tom Douglas‘ first restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, on our first night in the city, it was fitting that we visited his latest venture, Serious Pie, for our final dinner in town. Opened in 2006, Serious Pie is seriously popular. Just like our local darling Pizzeria Mozza, this forty-seater is packed at all hours of the day. Whether it was morning, noon, or night, every time I peered through the restaurant’s subterranean windows there were always smiling pizza eaters staring right back.
Reservations aren’t taken for smaller parties, so The Astronomer, Rosalind, and I stopped by 40 minutes before we wanted to eat and had our names added to the lengthy list. When our table was ready, the hostess tickled us on the telly.
With delicious memories of Delancey still dancing in our heads, we couldn’t help but compare the pizzerias course by course. To start, we shared a black kale salad with pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Calabria peppers ($8). Kale rarely fails to please, and in this case it was fresh and evenly dressed. The tart vinaigrette was countered by the sweet peppers and salty cheese. While the salad was well-composed, it wasn’t as fist-pumpingly awesome as Delancey’s frisee with bacon and Dijon dressing from the night before. Team Pettit took the greenery round, but the main attraction was still to come.
All of Serious Pie’s pies are made in a 600 degree, stone-encased, applewood burning oven. The crusts come out of the fire mostly golden with a few blackened bumps. The texture is crispier and heavier than Neapolitan-style pies, and as a lover of all things bready, I completely approved.
Our slightly tipsy, birthday-celebrating neighbor convinced me to order the chanterelle mushroom pizza ($16). When it arrived at our table, the distinct aroma of truffles filled the air. The rectangular pie was presented on a slate and studded with chanterelles galore, gooey pools of truffle cheese, and a sprinkling of fresh parsley. Topping it all off was a dousing of olive oil and Murray River salt. Truly, it was a beautiful and fragrant sight. Whereas Delancey’s pies were light and understated, the ones here brought an avalanche of flavor in the form of fat and salt. Pitting ‘shroom against ‘shroom, Serious Pie took this round.
The Astronomer’s sweet fennel sausage pizza with cherry bomb peppers ($16) was our least favorite pizza of the evening. The crust, cheese, and herbs were all outstanding, but the meat’s flavor was subdued. Delancey’s housemade pork fennel sausage was the clear winner in the “charcuterie topped pie” category.
Rosalind’s Penn Cove clams pizza with house pancetta and lemon thyme ($16) was phenomenal. After tasting disappointing renditions at Bottega Louie and Pizzeria Mozza, I was finally convinced that a proper clam pie can be executed on the west coast. The pizza’s intensely clammy flavor left me happy as a clam. The wild card round went to Serious Pie.
And finally, vanilla panna cotta with rhubarb and pistachio ($8) served in an oddly-shaped jar. The dessert was creamy and refreshing, but Delancey’s rustic fruit desserts were more interesting and satisfying.
While the first and final courses weren’t nearly as winning as the ones from Delancey, the seriously spectacular clam and chanterelle pies more than made up for it. I will forever remember Seattle as the city that opened my eyes to the greatness of pizza and doughnuts.
316 Virginia Street
Seattle, WA 98121