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Tutta Bella Slated to Open at Crossroads Bellevue

Tutta Bella, the Seattle-based restaurant that specializes in Neapolitan pizza, has put up signs at Crossroads Bellevue shopping center in the former location of Crossroads Bar & Grill. The new restaurant is slated to open in the fall.

Tutta Bella, the Seattle-based local restaurant that offers Neapolitan pizza in Seattle and Issaquah, is slated to open in the fall at Crossroads Bellevue shopping center.

It will open in the former location of the Crossroads Bar & Grill, which announced its closure last Friday and had its final day the next day.

The restaurant, which has four locations, had its eye on opening a second restaurant on the Eastside for some time, said Tutta Bella procurement manager Karen Stutesman, and the opportunity came in the 7,000 square-foot location at Crossroads Bellevue.

"We have a lot of families and large groups that come to the restaurant," she said.

She said the Bellevue location would be the largest of its locations.

Tutta Bella's four locations are in the Seattle neighborhoods of Columbia City, Wallingford and on the corner of Denny and Westlake, and one location in Issaquah. The restaurant also offers other Italian classics such as lasagna, calzones, espresso and more.

Owner Joe Fugere opened the first Tutta Bella in Columbia City in 2004 and is famous for its authentic Neapolitan pizza. The restaurants are certified authentic by the Italian Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana, which has strict standards over how a Neapolitan pizza is made, the dimensions and temperature of the wood fired oven, and the pizza's taste and texture, and ingredients.

"The flour we use, the tomatoes, the toppings. The dough must be made by hand, and the oven must be wood-fired," said Tutta Bella procurement manager Karen Stutesman. 

The result is a thinner-crust pizza that takes no more than 60 to 90 seconds to cook in its wood-fired oven.

Italian Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana has a description on how an authentic Neapolitan pizza is made and how it should taste on its website.

Crossroads Bar & Grill announced last Friday (March 1) on Facebook that its last day would be Saturday March 2:

Dear Facebook Friends,

Tomorrow at 9pm we will close our doors for good at Crossroads. We are so thankful for the years we had here and hope that we will see all of you at one of our other 4 locations soon! Please visit us tonight or tomorrow for a goodbye meal! 

Thank you!!

Crossroads Bar & Grill, which was one of five Neighborhood Grills locations in the state, also posted on that Facebook posting that anyone with a recent Groupon for that location could take it to another Neighborhood Grills location.

JuliaZ March 06, 2013 at 06:32 PM
It is more and more obvious that Ron Sher's wise guiding hand of community building is gone from Crossroads Bellevue. This is the FOURTH pizza restaurant at Crossroads... there's Papazzi Pizzeria in the food court, Padrino's Pizza over by Michael's, Pizzeria Guido by the movie theater, and now Tutta Bella Pizza is coming to the front of the mall (and still not a single gluten-free option! Gah!) Tenants of the mall used to be signed to long-term leases and guaranteed exclusivity in their main market, but now they are being offered one-year leases and newcomers are allowed in their category. Old favorites like the newsstand are pushed out altogether or marginalized so that comfortable seating for homeless people can be installed. Beloved treasures like the chess board are destroyed and replaced by tacky imitations that fall well short of the originals (I am waiting for the carousel to go because it seems nothing awesome is allowed anymore). One of the final straws for us was that the music hours have been curtailed by earlier closing on Saturday night, even though that was a very popular socializing time for everyone who lived nearby. My family visited Crossroads almost daily for years but the community feeling is eroding and now we go once a week or less. What a shame.
J. Harris March 06, 2013 at 11:41 PM
I am personally thrilled that an outstanding regional chain is investing in coming to Bellevue Crossroads. Tutta Bella not only has phenomenal food and beverage choices (and quite possibly the best pizza I have ever had!), but is truly committed to the communites the have locations in. Wow, I can't wait for it to open!!! Congratualtions Tutta Bella......this is a huge moment not only for your restaurant (and the staff you will employ), but a huge boost for Bellevue Crossroads.
JFK March 07, 2013 at 01:15 AM
I am a huge fan of their Columbia City and Westlake locations..I will drive a few miles just to have a Napoli Salad and a glass of vino and taste the seasonal speciality pizza..Looking forward to dining and having a beverage at the new location..JFK
JH March 07, 2013 at 01:51 AM
@JuliaZ - well, maybe Tutta Bella can bring back that sense of community you miss. I really like their Westlake location (and their drinks!). Give it a shot so it doesn't fail like its pizza predecessors.
HungryCAO March 07, 2013 at 06:22 AM
Happy day for Bellevue when Tutta Bella opens for business. I am lucky enough to frequent the Westlake and Columbia City locations on a regular basis and can't say enough good things about the thoughtful menu and quality of ingredients. I always leave full and happy. I will be eating here when my work takes me to the Eastside. Brava Tutta Bella.
JuliaZ March 07, 2013 at 04:36 PM
They pretty much have zero gluten-free food so my family and I will not go there, too bad. Back before my celiac diagnosis, I ate at the Issaquah location twice and thought it was good but overpriced. Pizza, drink, and tip (never mind gelato or espresso) is over $20/person, which exceeds my family's weekly dining-out budget... and probably many of Crossroads Bellevue's regulars' budgets as well. I wish them well, but it's not for me. P.S. Tutta Bella, please change the restroom tiles and take the Chili's chili pepper door handles off!
Sherry Douceur March 07, 2013 at 04:42 PM
While I do like Tutta Bella, I must say it seems like an odd choice for the spot given that the mall already has a similar pizza experience at Pizzeria Guido. I have lived in the Crossroads area for 20 years now, and the mall has always been a dynamic and changing place. On the whole, I believe the mall has generally improved over the years. While I don't personally go to Stone Gardens or Crunch, I think they were nice additions to the mall and better than Circuit City. And although I do miss The Daily Planet, my understanding is that they were not forced out. The owner of the stand tried to sell it and when he couldn't find a buyer, he decided to close it down. I do like that the mall added seating where the stand used to be, but I can't say I am crazy about the wooden pieces. I never sit on them, and I rarely ever see anyone else using them. I love Crossroads, and I find the community spirit of the place alive and well, and it is still my preferred shopping destination.
Venice Buhain March 07, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Sherry: you're right about The Daily Planet. Both the owner and the mall couldn't find a buyer for the newsstand. We have a bit of the story here: http://patch.com/A-ywS9
Jeff Bright March 08, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Tutta Bella will be a huge asset to the Crossroads community. Tutta Bella offers a quality product and a quality experience for all. I feel lucky to live in Crossroads and be within walking distance of such a fine restaurant. The opportunity to eat authentic quality Italian food on a weekly basis is exciting. President Obama requestsTutta Bella pizza whenever he visits Seattle. Watch out downtown Bellevue - - Crossroads has just taken a major step forward. Tutta Bella -"Always Beautiful" - Can't wait till they open. Jeff Bright
Beverly Santarelli April 10, 2013 at 12:22 AM
when will it open??

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