A new kind of luck hits the Junction
As most Junction-goers know by now, the New Luck Toy sign is down and the infamous karaoke icon that lives long and strong in the minds of West Seattleites is gone.
Some may begrudgingly consider it a literal sign of the times. But already many Westsiders are turning their frowns upside down. Why? Because a new kind of luck has struck California Avenue - and with it comes pizza by the slice and, yes, the rebirth of karaoke.
Introducing Talarico's Pizzeria & Lounge. Serving up traditional hand-tossed East Coast pizza pie and offering karaoke in the Lounge on Sunday and Monday nights, Talarico's pays homage to what came before (including the use of New Luck d/cor), but it also brings something new to the neighborhood, not to mention the city.
"We offer impressive 14-inch slices of hand-tossed pizza you can fold in half and eat East Coast-style - there is nothing like it in Seattle," says house manager Chris Beard. "When I'm in New York for a visit, I'll hit three places like this in two days, but until Talarico's, this hasn't been an option in Seattle."
Named after co-owner David Brownell's great grandfather (whose memorable mug you'll see on the logo and whose meatball recipe you'll see on the menu), the pizzeria comes Italian heritage as well as many years of Seattle restaurant experience behind it. Brownell is involved in Fremont's Ballroom and partner James Weimann's helped open the Triangle and El Camino in Fremont, Peso's Lounge in Queen Anne, and May Thai Lounge in Wallingford.
But the pizza part of the owners' plan was simply inspired by a trip to Philadelphia's food-famous South Street. The two fell in love with the style of pizza served at the local favorite, Dalfonso's.
"This was one of those places that all the foodies know about," says Beard. "If you're walking down South Street and you're not on your way to get a Philly cheese steak, chances you're on your way to grab a slice at Dalfonso's."
During their trip Brownell and Weimann discovered Dalfonso's and returned for a slice every day until finally they met talented chef, Jaime Falco, whom they invited to move out this way to help open Talarico's.
Falco said yes, and the rest is history ready to be hand-tossed right here in West Seattle.
The menu calls for thin crust pizza - an art form all its own - offered by the slice or whole pie. Try the Original (straight from Philly to West Seattle with mozzarella and Talarico's signature marinara), the Coppola (goat cheese, garlic, roasted red bell peppers and olive oil), or if you're in the mood for spicier selections, opt for the South Street (with Italian sausage, spicy sausage, pepperoni, mozzarella and marinara) or the Sinatra (with spicy sausage, pepperoncinis, black olives, mozzarella and marinara).
Other Italian-inspired interests (similar to Tapas) are also available such as the House Made Meatballs (simmered in signature marinara and served with Italian flat bread), the Carpaccio (thin sliced top sirloin topped with shaved parmesan and arugula), and at least one seasonally-inspired vegetarian will be available at all times.
But the restaurant is only half of the story. The bar is Talarico's centerpiece seating up to 45 people and featuring two huge flat screen TVs. The drink menu offers multiple wines by the glass (and more by the bottle) including regional selections from Italy and the Northwest. Mixology masters are also rumored to make a mean margarita and mojito, not to mention grappa and housemade sangria.
Talarico's also features early evening live jazz and late night DJs on weekends as well as an early and a late happy hour daily from 4-6pm and from 11pm-1am. Hungry happy hour-goers can grab a slice and a glass of wine for under $10 while kicking back in an intimate black leather booth and taking in the East Coast restaurant vibe.
At Talarico's, indeed East meets West, but the West and it's many wonderful local resources are still part of the plan. For example, the restaurant is sourcing food from great local vendors such as cured meats and sausage from Salumi and CasCioppo Brothers.
"And though we're introducing East Coast-style of food, the vision is to keep the strong neighborhood feel of West Seattle alive," Beard says.
You can come in on your own to grab a slice and watch the game, or bring a date for fine meal and glass of wine.
"Your life can revolve in and out of the door here," smiles Beard.
And while Talarico's is filling a citywide niche in Seattle, we might consider ourselves lucky to be the neighborhood chosen to first try these hand-tossed pies. Buon appetito!
Talarico's Pizzeria & Lounge
Hours are 4pm-2am daily
(Full menu available till 1am!)
Slices start at $3.95
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