Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Queen Margherita @ Magnolia

The best Pizza in the world? Not sure about that as I have not been around the world yet, but most definitely one of the best Pizzas in Seattle. This is a place where you get real Pizza Italiano, said an Italian friend of A's. "The best Italian Pizza in Seattle? Go to Queen Margherita in Magnolia ", he said. So, when the Groupon came along, we HAD to go.

Queen Margherita is a small place, located in the same lot as the Seattle Pie Company. We almost missed it when driving by. Usually, there is a wait time of 15 to 20 minutes or longer if you get there after 6 pm. They open at 3 pm and have a happy hour from 3 to 5 pm on week days.

Queen Margherita Restaurant
The bar has the wood burning stove where the guys who make this miracle called Pizza happen, shovel it in and out the oven, non stop. It can take about 20 minutes for the Pizza to get to your table from the time you order. Be prepared to wait.

Wood burning stove
The hand tossed dough tastes like the Indian Naan. It is soft and chewy and incredibly thin! So thin (thinner than one's tongue) that you can fold a slice a couple of times and prop it in your mouth. I have always thought that the crust could either be thin and crispy or thick and doughy, but here's one that's thin and doughy! I was in Pizza Heaven. And the Cheese! None of the new age three Cheese or four Cheese Pizza, that makes one want to spend the rest the of the waking hour at the Gym. Cheese is used to add flavor to the Pizza and not with the intention of fattening one up. Just a dollop on each slice and you won't believe the fresh flavor it infuses the whole Pizza with. One can eat a whole Pizza.

We got the Queen Margherita Pizza - Buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomato sauce, fresh basil and extra-virgin olive oil.

Queen Margherita Pizza
Such a basic Pizza. The fresh tomato sauce was hot and bubbly and turned creamy as it melted the fresh Mozzarella. I took one bite off a slice and the crust folded, the fresh hot dollop of Mozzarella ran off as if it were on a slide and the tomato sauce dribbled down my fingers. It makes a mess, but just deal with it.

Next we got the Patata Pizza - Yukon gold potatoes, fresh rosemary, roasted garlic, pecorino cheese and extra-virgin olive oil.

Patata @ Queen Margherita
Cheese was sparingly used and the main flavor was from the Olive oil and fresh rosemary and roasted garlic. Again, a very basic Pizza but the flavors it diffused were intense. My only complaint was that it was a tad dry. We asked for some Olive oil on the side to dip the slice in and that made it a lot better.

Beer was atrociously priced at $5.50, so we washed it down with Coke. Desserts were also a little on the higher side - $7 for a Tiramisu or $5.50 for a Gelato. Of course it might be the best one could get, but no thanks. The Pizzas themselves are not very big and are priced between $12 -$15. But of course, worth every penny. I am not sure why they picked such an obscure location in Magnolia. It will be great if they can open a branch in some place like South Lake Union where they will have long lines of people waiting to get in, shoving for access like they were trying to get space on the last ferry out of Orcas Island!
Queen Margherita on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Ventana @ Belltown

Ventana in Spanish translates to a 'Window'. You won't know how apt the name is untill you visit this beautiful restaurant in Belltown - It has huge windows all around, with sweeping views of the Puget Sound, bringing in bright sunshine on the sunny days. We were there on one such Spring evening, enmeshed in the golden glow of the setting sun.  What I most love about these classy, stylish restaurants is the incredible Happy Hour! They have a twice daily Happy hour from 4:30pm - 7:30pm & 10:00pm - 2:00am. Plus, all day on Sunday and Monday.


After wandering through Pike Place, A was in dire need of a beer. Sometimes, all we want to do is to chill and relax at some lounge with a nice view, great food and fabulous service. We headed straight to the bar area and made ourselves comfortable at a booth. The waiter brought us the menu. Guess what? The entire dinner menu is half off during the Happy Hour. Yes, you read that right! Vegetarians don't have those many options, unfortunately. A few to name are Steamed Edemame, Truffle fries, charred broccoli, house green salad and a pasta. We were there just for some finger food. We got the truffle fries made with black truffle oil and truffle salt. Let me tell you that that IS the best Fries in Seattle. Handsdown. I have had Fries at a number of other places, and found them to be just meh. But, this was exceptional.

Truffle Fries @ Ventana
And washed it down with a Negra Modelo

For $3, that was a lot of Fries! They were perfect - hot, flavorful, crunchy till the last bite. I got a sneak peak of their burger when the waiter brought it out to another table near us. It looked delicious. If only they could substitute a veggie patty in their burger....*sighs*

Just for the Fries and the view, I would go there any number of times! This is a must try, if you haven't been there yet.
Ventana Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon
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