Mike Easton’s good at keeping a secret. Though he says he’s been wanting to do another space “for awhile,” he just today disclosed that his popular Pioneer Square lunch spot Il Corvo will be getting a little sister come spring: a Roman-style pizza joint called Pizzeria Gabbiano to open at Second and Main.
Don’t come expecting the paper-thin, blistered crust so many Seattle pizzerias aim to import from Italy—“there’s plenty of wood-fired ovens in this city, I don’t think we need another one,” Easton says. At Pizzeria Gabbiano, as in Rome, the pies will be meter-long rectangles of tender, airy dough, almost like flatbread. Easton and longtime employee Johannes Heitzeberg (who will be spearheading this new venture) have been cultivating their own sourdough starter for months, and he recently procured a 150-year-old starter from San Francisco to give it further depth of flavor. There’s no commercial yeast added—a long fermentation process gives the dough its sweet, sour flavor.
Easton’s planning to stick with what’s worked for him and keep things simple, offering just a couple of pizza options each day, with toppings made largely in house and based on what’s in season. “We’re really going to carry on in the tradition of Il Corvo Pasta and we’re just going to make what we feel like making,” he says. “We want things to be very good and for the quality to be there, but we also want to be able to serve it quickly. We’ll keep it to the whim of the pizza maker.”
That said, there’ll definitely be a simple margherita with hand-pulled mozzarella on the menu each day, in addition to a meat pie with something like spicy coppa or house-made pancetta. Easton said if he was open today, he’d do something like thin-sliced delicata squash with pine nuts and blue cheese.
The entire footprint of the undisclosed spot is about 1,000 square feet, meaning there will likely be only 30 or so seats. Easton’s envisioning the restaurant with high tables suitable for sitting or standing, in the tradition of a Roman pizzeria. Half, quarter, and possibly even one-eighth pizzas will be available, plus an assortment of antipasti, all ready to go. Depending on his ability to source custom, meter-long pizza boxes, Easton’s hoping to serve whole pies later in the day down the road. For now, hours will likely be limited to weekdays from 11-3.
If all goes as planned, Pizzeria Gabbiano will be open about six months from now, around late May or early June. One of the benefits of a warm-weather opening is that Easton says there’s a tiny pocket park with a 20-foot waterfall and plenty of bistro tables nearby, so he’ll encourage diners to take their slices and enjoy them outdoors.
Instead of Kickstarter, Easton and his wife Victoria have started a campaign using Community Sourced Capital to fund the project. If you’d like to be a shareholder, you can contribute here. Otherwise, stay tuned for updates.