Day One: Pizzeria GabbianoBy Leslie Kelly
August 13, 2014
Yesterday, Mike Easton's Pizzeria Gabbiano opened to very long lines, proving that Seattle will still go nuts for its pizza pies. Easton says he went through at least 15 of his very large, rectangular Roman-style pies, totaling 150 pieces, during the lunch rush. Easton, who also owns Il Corvo, did some crowd-funding to put this project together. And, after lots of testing and practice, it's now come to fruition as a lunch-only Pioneer Square haunt, inspired by the pizza from Forno Campo de Fiore in Rome, Italy.
The food: As you can see above, yesterday's opening-day lineup included several vegetable-driven options, like the gorgeous Sun Gold tomato- and fresh basil-topped number you see at the right. Other choices included spicy coppa with housemade Sicilian tomato sauce, fresh shaved fennel and flat-leaf parsley, pictured on the left. Instead of slices, you order by the kilo and your piece is cut to order with massive pizza scissors, then served up in a basket with chile oil on the side for dipping. Two pieces and a lovely cucumber-melon salad ring up to $12. One crucial takeaway: it's too tough to use the provided plastic utensils to cut these slices. The beauty of this pizza is that the thick crust is sturdy enough to pick up and eat with your hands. On day one, Easton's pizza-weighing scale was out of commission, so we watched him wander off to buy another.
The drinks: There's assorted Pellegrino sodas, Pfriem Family Brewers' pilsner on tap and $4.10 red and white wine by the glass, though we didn't spot anybody doing any day-drinking.
The space: Located in the historic Furuya Building that was once home to a Japanese import-export company, Easton and his team transformed the long-vacant space into an inviting room that's a bustling kitchen and a retro-cool place to spend your lunch hour. Nearly everything was crafted from reclaimed materials, from the old doors that form the wainscoting around the kitchen to the refinished Douglas Fir floors that date back to the 1900s. An ornate wrought-iron chandelier creates a warm glow over the midday crowd, who were happily devouring the wonderfully flavorful pies.
Know this: While the physical address is 240 Second Avenue, the entrance is on Main Street.