Ballard pizza to be certified true Napoletana

This is Neapolitan pizza week and one Ballard restaurant is being honored.

A delegation from the Associazionne Verace Pizza Napoletana is in town to certify seven pizza places, including Ristorante Picolinos. “This is very exciting for our establishment as being certified Napoletana is rare and very few restaurants in Seattle have the honor of this title!” they said in an email. There are rules for making Neapolitan pizzas. Certified restaurants must use specific ingredients, a wood-burning oven and the final product must conform to the tradition. The other certifications presented this week go to Via Tribunali in Fremont, Queen Anne, Georgetown and Belltown, Tutta Bella in Issaquah and Pizzeria Pulcinella in Rainier Beach.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

68 thoughts to “Ballard pizza to be certified true Napoletana”

  1. Oh my. The pizza we had at Picolino's in their early days had what tasted like Ragu for sauce, and a Saltine's-inspired crust. I hear they've got a new chef but wow, things would need to have come a LOOOONG way for that pizza to be considered Neapolitan. We've been too scared to go back – anyone had the pizza recently?

  2. Congratulations to Picolinos! I have only recently begun visiting this establishment and only the cafe portion, but I love the ambiance that they've got going on over there.

  3. I was there not long ago, maybe a month (?), and they still blew big time. I don't know how they finagled this honor, but finagle they did, bet on it. I would not go throw away another $100 just to find out, that is for sure.

  4. Picolino's was pretty good for pasta, on one of our recent incredible summer evenings. Great outdoor area. And if the setting is a little more special than the food, well, you're paying for both.

  5. The Neapolitan designation doesn't always mean better pizza. For instance, Verace pizza is some of the best wood fired pizza in town and it does not have Neapolitan certification.

    Further, Neapolitan certification increases a businesses carbon footprint because it requires restaurants to buy imported ingredientes rather than source them locally.

  6. Maybe the definition of Neapolitan is not what we Ballard folk think it is. Maybe it means 'marginal and overpriced'. From all the feedback I have seen and heard about that place I will keep going to Zayda Buddies for good pizza cut in squares like it should be. Personally I resent the parking inconvenience when I go to Rain City Video. But by the negative reviews I may not be put out for long.

  7. ohhhh, that's not smart in Ballard, or anywhere.
    I don't really care much for pizza, and I care less that some outsider/special designate is interested in propping up an arcane pie.
    I'll stick with Snoose Junction, they support local, are 'green', and tasty.

  8. You can't be serious! Zayda Buddy's? I had their piss poor excuse for bad cafeteria food when they opened, then stupidly again thinking they might have gotten their act together and swore it as the worst dining experience in Seattle. I would sooner eat leftover Domino's that fell on the floor two days ago than set foot in zayda's.
    I have not been to Picolino's so I reserve my wrath or rave until I can try them out.

  9. This is an example of why I never EVER recommend restaurants. Everybody thinks that what they like is good, and what they don't like is bad. Problem is, we don't all like the same things, so it disintegrates into an argument over who is right and who is wrong. Bleh.

    The most I will say is “I like it, but your results may vary.”

    That said, I'll only go to Picolino's when I feel the need for an evening out in Bellevue but don't feel like making the drive. As in, probably never.

  10. pizza is one of those things that is so subjective but everyone knows what the best pizza is.

    so without getting in a pissing contest…. you may not like picolinos pizza, but, if you haven't been there recently, you need to try it again. it is MUCH MUCH MUCH better.

    as for shelling out $100 to find out… well, not sure how you come up with that figure, but you could do their happy hour and have a $3 beer and an $8 pizza. the happy hour pizzas are a little smaller, but more than enough to fill you up. $11 + tax, comes to $12 and change. not quite $100.

  11. Perfectly said, that last paragraph. A much needed chuckle after reading the dogs/golden gardens drivel. I think it won't be long before Ballard is completely Bellevuized though.

  12. Ha, parking inconvenience while going to rain city? If that is the complaint you have about Picolinos, by god don't ever go there. You should be walking/biking to rain city anyways. If it is too far for you, try their market street or fremont locations because they are far more car centric.

  13. man i hate to pile on but i tried that place once, after the great chef whoever was hired and was totally disappointed.

    the salad was ok – the best part of the evening.

    mussels. oh god they smelled bad. very bad. total disgrace to serve crap seafood in seattle.

    pizza margarita was super floppy and definately not the crisp thin crust i'd hoped for. it was served on this lipped plate that may have been promoting it to steam more. i don't know.

    it was one of those meals where i can't see much reason to try again.

  14. oh, I really hope that you don't intend to avoid Snoose Junction, just because I like it, that would be a shame. You deserve a better view.

  15. Complaining about not being able to park right in front of a neighborhood video store is a sure sign that the Bellevuization has already begun.

  16. And the holier-than -thou are heard from. I really doubt Rain City could survive from just the walkins and bikeins from a few block radius. You judge without asking about the circumstances. You must be so proud.

  17. My husband is Milan, Italy born and raised, and he thinks Veraci is the best pizza in town…Neapolitan certification or not. And it should be Verace, you are correct. :)

  18. Really? Have you ever tried to park at the Market Street location? I always thought they must serve primarily walk-in customers because there are only two or three cramped parking spaces out front.

    Listen to us, discussing the parking crisis in Ballard as if it were an actual problem, like war or disease or starvation. We all deserve a slap.

  19. I myself like the pizza at all the joints mentioned.

    I also think it is great so many new places to eat have opened up in Ballard, 10 years ago the choices were quite limited in the neighborhood.

    To each his or he own is now possible. Eat local.

  20. that is true for sure. i'm glad there are options a-plenty for food.

    my favorite “new” place is still Monkey Bridge. usually to-go though. but so consistantly good in my experience.

    i really don't like trashing a business – i don't do yelp or whatever – just had to scrath my head at them being recognized for anything. really was a bad experience. anyway.

    end threadjack. back to pizza.

  21. I know the circumstances.

    If you go to Rain City during dinner hours, chances are you won't be able to find a spot right on that block, you will probably have to park on 64th or 65th and walk a block or so.

    Complaining about having to park a block or two away from a hugely popular, vibrant neighborhood business district makes you sound like someone from Bellevue who expects to park within 50 ft of where they are going, that's all.

  22. Man I am so sick of hearing about this place. First of all, it reeks of douche. It doesn't belong in the neighborhood.. and even if it did it shouldn't take up the whole block. Way to misspell the name, while your at it. When we heard there was going to be a cafe, pizza place, bar, and art gallery we had no idea it was all going to be the same bored rich guy establishment it turned out to be. Anyone can buy a good chef with money. While I'm at it, the sign/logo/decor sucks too. What's with those stupid dogs? And if you want to get into the subject of good pizza, good luck, Pacific North West. You fail miserably, every time.

  23. My point was you can't really blame picolinos for the lack of on-street parking for your visit to rain city. Every business and resident has just as much right to a parking spot as everyone else does. If you don't want to play the parking game, walk or go to a location that has parking.

    You spoke like a true seattle entitlement elitist, entitled to a public parking spot in front of your private business of choice.

  24. East Coast, you've got it right: the strip is so homogeneous and tacky!
    I've never tried the pizza, but the authentic pizzeria stamp they've won is a dubious honor. It's a fairly fake, buy-in association that's all about marketing. Just ask a pizza freak from Naples if he's heard of it; a blank stare is what you'll get.
    And, Miss Italia, considering your dear Milanese husband an expert on pizza is like considering me, a Seattleite, an expert on Texas-style grill.
    Veraci uses too much herbs in their sauce to be called “authentic.” The true pizza's salsa al pomodoro is just that: tomatoes, pure and simple.
    But, as a poster mentioned above, where's there's personal preference, there's really no debate!

  25. I think leavinglasballard was referring to the Napoletana list – not your Snoose mention (although I have to say Snoose has some of the worst pizza I've ever had). But (as is apparent from these comments) pizza is subjective.

  26. I've never tried Picolinos, and as I'm a thick crust fan I probably never will. However, this is a real honor for this restaurant. So, I congratulate you, Picolinos. Though, I'll still order from Zeke's.

  27. great use of “it reeks of douche”

    when i read that, i knew that we had a constructive, smart, and well put together critique that i wanted to pay attention to.

    i will forever agree with everything you say…

  28. Hey, Chopper, does Snoose Junction have thin crust? I've wanted to try it but so many of the pizza places around here are 'New York' style.

  29. First of all… if Picolino's wanted this certification, then I applaud them for getting it. I know that they don't just give this one away, and that a restaurant haa to meet some fairly consistent standards to get it. And now we know that if we want something that looks like authentic Neapolitan pizza, we have it in our neighborhood.

    The problem is that American pizza is just different from Italian pizza, or more specifically Neapolitan pizza, and so I really don't want Neapolitan pizza very often. I do want American forms of pizza, and the truth is that there are only three well-known authentic forms of it: New York-style thin crust, Chicago-style deep-dish, and a rarer crispy crust version as found in Providence at Al Forno (perhaps there are other than these three, but they're the most famous).

    I'm from New Jersey, and as far as I'm concerned, if you can't fold it, it's not pizza, and there's nothing in Seattle that even comes close to being as good as any strip-mall pizza joint in New Jersey. And Brooklyn pizza…. fuhgeddaboutit. The best there is. You know that pizza place that John Travolta walked up to at the beginning of “Saturday Night Fever”? It's on 86th St, it's still there, and it's still awesome.

    In the meantime, if I'm in the mood for simple Neapolitan, I'm honestly glad that we've got Picolino's. If I'm in the mood for good American pizza… we're just out-of-luck here in the Pacific Northwest. I'd trade all the (way too many) Thai restaurants in Seattle for one good New Jersey pizza joint….

  30. Truth is it's neither thick or thin, I'd call it 'medium'. The local ingredients, and the bicycle delivery, both are compelling reasons for my support.
    I'm really not a pizza expert, but when I have a hankering for it, I'm always pleased with theirs.
    Via Verde also has good pizza, wood fired, etc., but I found the crust to be a bit thicker, on the doughy side.
    For what it's worth, there's my take on it.

  31. You're right, I am Miss Italia…at least I actually am Italian. And I never once said it was “authentic” did I? Reading comprehension much? I said it was his PREFERRED pizza in Seattle. Get over yourself.

  32. Let's not forget New Haven, CT “apizza”, from Sally's and Pepe's. Amazing pizza from coal-fired brick ovens with thin crispy crust. Dear god I wish we had some pie like that out here.

  33. The Napoletana certification means nothing. Tutta Bella has it and IMO their pizza is garbage. Every pizza I've had from them (only a few before we stopped going back) was thrown together like slop and undercooked, not to mention overpriced. I once ordered prosciutto on one of the pizzas and it was so bad I had to pick it off the pizza before eating it.

    Pagliacci's margherita pizza, when done right … it varies, is one of the best pizzas you can get in Seattle…again IMO. Via Trib in Capitol Hill and Queen Anne are also very good. The Fremont location sucks.

  34. You admit you are no expert, being from Seattle, yet you still find it necessary to make nasty remarks about pizza? I agree with “angelatini”…get over yourself.

    Too many people act like just because they are interested in food makes them an expert or even a foodie! Everyone is entitled to an opinion regarding their taste in food, but for THIS many people to make nasty comments about this place (and some admit they've never even tried it?) is just sad.

    Here's an idea…maybe instead of bashing every little person and place you can, try supporting your community, Ballard, and it's local business. Just a thought.

  35. Yes. Capri, Rome, and Tuscany. Capri's pizza was some of the best I've ever had. The pizza in Rome and Tuscany was average, which is not surprising given those regions are not known for their pizza.

  36. Way to go Picolino's!! We enjoy eating in the neighborhood; we can have a little extra wine and walk home! Their hospitality is wonderful…excellent selection of wines….the goat cheese ravioli is fabulous. Let's support the local establishments we find personally enjoyable without disparaging the others or one another. Seriously.

  37. I haven't been to Piccolino's but I am curious about your “crisp thin crust i'd hoped for” comment. Would your ideal pizza be closer to:
    A) A matzoh cracker with ragu and few bits of cheese
    B) Bread completely obscured by cheese with a hint of sauce in between

  38. I will agree with TEC on the general lack of good pizza here in the PNW. One of the things I love about being able to visit NYC/Brooklyn often is getting some good pizza and some good bagels (but not pizza bagels which are an abomination and make Moses weep).
    I wouldn't give up everything else that the PNW offers, so I've learned to lower my expectations a bit and eat less pizza. In the meantime I still go across town to Picora's or call up Pagliacci for a delivery. Not the same, but at least it's not awful.
    Zayda's? That is awful and should be banned.

  39. Try Picora's up on 14th and Madison on Capitol Hill. Not perfect, but on their good days they're pretty close. At least the owners are from New York and know what the target they're shooting for tastes like.

  40. Picolino's does 1 thing right: location.

    Food is less than mediocre.

    Service: tie and collared shirts at a neighborhood pizza joint? Ill-conceived.

    Ambiance: forcefully tiresome.

    Price: out of touch w/neighborhood.

    Owner/management: showy, imposed/fake Italian accent, arrogantly entitled, and non-knowledgeable in relation to both food and wine.

  41. Oooh, a fake Italian accent – that just makes we want to go for the entertainment!

    Will he be my personal clown? Will he make me laugh? Will he?

  42. It is funny to read such diverse comments here. I must say, if the place is busy every night, it is not because of bad expensive food, or parking problems, I walk there. Congratulations in the certification, and looking forward to have dinner there again soon!

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