On an evening of record-breaking 95 degree heat, Kerri and I thought the best place to be was across the room from a wood-fired oven so hot it only takes about 90 seconds to cook a pizza. Oh well, Friday Pizza Meetings were finally back in business, we had successfully fought the I-5 South traffic with two special guests, and some nice chilled rosé served in a some sort of peculiar personal-sized bowl had just arrived at the table.
Bar del Corso in Beacon Hill had been recommended to us a few times and after reading about their custom built oven shipped over from Naples, it was only a matter of time before we figured out the transportation logistics that would allow everyone to get to this part of town after work. We were surprised to be seated right away at a nice table next to the window and quickly selected our wine of choice because it was far too sweaty out for us to handle about half of the others the menu.
After a few bites of Suppli al Telefono, Kerri’s Margherita with mozzarella di bufala and my regular Margherita hit the table along with some handy scissors to help us dig in. Despite the inescapable Seattle heat, we both found this pizza to be incredibly light and refreshing.
Kerri has a hard time not comparing any Seattle pizza lately to the Fremont Via Tribunali (her favourite so far sans the mushy middle), and left her thoughts with a disclaimer that they might have been affected by the heat. Though Kerri thought the sauce at Bar del Corso was great– the kind of light, unobtrusive style that works for her, she would have loved more cheese. This time she did prefer the regular mozzarella over the buffalo mozzarella that she normally enjoys. Now, we’re all aware of Kerri’s preferences about burnt spots on the crust and this is where this pizza sadly lost some passion for her. In the pizza’s defence, when it’s cooked so hot it’s going to get a little toasty. She liked that we also had tools like steak knives and scissors to work with, but still found this pizza a bit hard to wrestle, even with the knife. However, she would be lying if she said this wasn’t a great pizza.
My regular ol’ Margherita and I didn’t care about any struggles that might occur during the journey from plate-to-face. I cut whatever shape I wanted with those scissors and wherever the knife wanted to tear a bite of sauce and bread goodness away from the mothership, I went with it. I’m pretty sure our special guest Trish was horrified at the scene in front of her as I occasionally used two hands and a fork to get oversized bites off that plate while washing them down with swigs from my tiny bowl of rosé. My teeth were covered in basil and I’m sure there was sauce all over my chin, but this was exactly the pizza I was craving and I wasn’t going to let manners get in my way.
I found the cheese to probably be some of the best I’ve had so far. I even ate some of it without a sauce or crust vessel, which is probably a first for me. At the beginning I did enjoy the burnt crust bubbles, but toward the end when the pizza cooled, both the burned bits and the difficult to cut texture got a little more distracting. However, this pizza was not mushy in the middle so that makes up for it. The basil was adequate and the sauce was what I would describe as very fresh and also that perfectly pink pizza colour that’s hard to find.
Our special guests Trish and Adrian (surprise!) both also enjoyed their funghi pizzas, which did not have red sauce. “I wasn’t expecting no sauce…but I didn’t mind,” Trish said. “I didn’t like the burnt pieces of the crust. But there was a garlic Parmesan thing that was super tasty.” Adrian wasn’t feeling too poetic but thankfully let us know he was still pleased. “I would recommend it. If it was local, it would be my go-to, but it might not be good enough to drive all this way to,” he said.
Everyone agreed that if this place wasn’t so far away, we’d visit frequently, but it’s quite a trek to make for pizza. We got into some mildly complicated and possibly Olympics- inspired math to somehow give Bar Del Corso a combined 4.125. That makes it our highest rated pizza stop to date!