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Friday, July 14, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Dining Deals

A slice of Italy at corner pizzeria

Special to The Seattle Times

Mioposto


3601 S. McClellan St., Seattle; 206-760-3400

Pizza

$$

Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily; espresso and pastries only, 6:30- 11 a.m. Mondays- Saturdays and 7:30-11 a.m. Sundays.

Drinks: Beer and wine.

Credit cards: V, MC; checks OK.

Accessibility: No obstacles to access.

Rating: Recommended.

Chow Foods head honchos Jeremy Hardy and Peter Levy have a knack for matching restaurants with the right neighborhoods: Their portfolio includes The Hi-Life in Ballard, Endolyne Joe's in West Seattle and Coastal Kitchen on Capitol Hill.

Their newest venture, Mioposto, a European-styled pizzeria that occupies a corner slice of a stately brick apartment building in Mount Baker, could not be better suited to this quiet residential enclave of solid old homes and leafy shade trees. The narrow space, with its mix of counter and table seating and dark wood décor embellished with touches of marble, resembles a bustling cafe on an Italian piazza. Windows that fold back beneath broad awnings make the most of summer breezes, not to mention the view of Mount Baker Park across the street.

The friendly bandanna-ed young staff working behind the counter, faces flushed from the heat of the blazing oven, must be grateful for the breeze. We certainly are as we nibble a spicy "Molte Piccante" pie, one of a dozen 10-inch pizzas ($8.75-$10.50) that are the crux of this short menu. The thin, brittle crusts are sometimes overcharred, sometimes not blistered enough, as if the staff is still getting the hang of the wood-fired oven. Best among those sampled were the tomato-sauced versions judiciously topped with quality meats and cheeses.

One pizza is enough for two to share. Augmented with a small salad, it makes a light, inexpensive repast. Antipasti, sandwiches and desserts complete the list.

Two-month-old Mioposto (translation: my place) is kid-friendly, right down to the peanut-butter-and-jelly bruschetta. But one Sunday evening amid the happy cacophony of bambini and their families, plenty of couples happily quaffed tumblers of vino ($5.25-$9) and tall frosty glasses of birra ($2-$4), suggesting that Mioposto is everybody's place.

Check please:

Pizza: Of the four sampled, the Pinocchio was favored for its mix

of crumbled fennel sausage and thin slices of Molinari salami, while the Molte Piccante ($9) delivered on its spicy promise with Calabrian chilies and soppresatta. Basil was rather sparsely applied to the Margherita ($8.75), an otherwise worthy cheese pie. The Pizza Verde ($9.75) sorely needed a drizzle of olive oil: The pesto sauce was dry, the mozzarella missing and very few caramelized onions registered beneath a scattering of arugula leaves and crumbled Parmesan.

Salad: Both the Insalate Milanese and the roasted beet salad are fresh and lively; the small feeds one or two, the large feeds four. Diced chicken breast, salami, gorgonzola and artichoke hearts hide among the

vinaigrette-dressed romaine and leaf lettuces in the Milanese ($7/$9). Balsamic vinaigrette, arugula and goat cheese give the beet salad a bolder flavor profile, though the Marcona almonds were few and hard to find ($6.75/$9).

Fusione del Fungo: The unexpected hit of the meal, this mushroom sandwich is truly a profusion of funghi sautéed with bell pepper, pine nuts, currants and agro dolce (a sweet/tart Italian condiment), piled on a salted and herbed briochelike bun. But potato chips on the side? That's not so Italian.

Itemized bill, meal for two

Pinocchio pizza $10.25

Insalate Milanese (small) $7.00

Fusione del

Fungo $6.50

Glass of wine $6.50

Beer on tap $4.00

Tax $3.19

Total $37.44

Providence Cicero: providencecicero@aol.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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