Tramonti Pizza / Santa Cruz
Looks like a great menu serving 13" pizza's with some pastas and calzone. I have heard some great reviews . Located between Days Market and La Posta on Seabright Ave. Have you been here yet ? I can't wait to try this new spot. Closed for the afternoon. Sounds like I'm in Italy. Wonderful.
I had lunch there today with a freind. I am just going to say that this place is the best pizza ever to come out of Santa Cruz. I had the pizza Nostromo. A thin light crust topped with a small amount of fresh sweet tomato sauce. The mozzarella cheese had a buttery flavor topped with small pieces of imported tuna from Italy. Into the oven also from Italy. Then topped with arugula. Fantastic.$10 The other pizza was one with bufalina mozzarella, tomato sauce, some grape tomatoes and pieces of torn basil. $12 I can't say enough. Santa Cruz has a star pizzeria straight from Italy. Family owned and run. OH, thank you.
I had lunch there last weekend. I had the salsiccia pizza, which was minimally dressed with cheese and sausage. I liked the quality of the sausage, and as emglow says, the tomato sauce has a bright, fresh tomato flavor that I thought was noteworthy and very appealing. The crust thickness was just about right to my taste, say, a bit thicker than La Posta next door which I sometimes think is too thin. The price is also surprisingly low, making it good value.
I think there's definite room for improvement, though. My biggest complaint was that I found the dough had little flavor. I tried and tried to locate it, but it was just absent to my palate. Also, the crust could have been cooked a bit longer. The parts that weren't charred were very pale, which is due to a lack of sugars in the crust, indicating, I believe, a quick rather than slow rise, which goes along with the lack of flavor in the dough. (Unless one adds sugar to the crust, e.g. Nancy Silverton puts honey in the Mozza pizza dough). Lastly, I could have done with a bit more topping but that's a fairly small quibble.
To me, the best pizza that's been turned out in Santa Cruz that I've tasted was at the old Cellar Door (pre Cigare Volant days). The crust was really good and cooked nicely, though generally topped a bit more American in style than Italian. Right now, I'd say Tramonti is slightly below La Posta in my mind, but both have room for improvement. That said, there are two places that should be opening in the near future: Bantam, near the westside New Leaf is being opened in the next month or two by the former chef of Avanti; and the old Avanti location will also be turned into a pizza place by the Avanti owners in the near future as well. Hopefully one will bring us world-class pizza that rivals SF's Pizzeria Delfina, Cotogna, etc etc.
During our visit to the area last week the third chow highlight, in addition to Chelito's Pupseria and Au Midi Restraurant and Bistrot, was what we call a cholesterama carboganza at our new favorite pizza and home style pasta place, Tramonti.
This visit we split a small salad as our token healthy option, but truth be told half a small one is a perfect dinner size, their large serves four people easily. We ordered a sausage and mushroom pizza that seemed a little larger than on our visit in December but it was out of the park on execution, sausage superior to any we can recall and perfect char on the crust. More rational folk may have stopped at this point, but au contraire, we opted to have two of the slices wrapped to go and ordered the Gnocci in Gorganzola sauce and the Lasagne.
Lady PB praised the gnocci as being on par with my dear FIL's, the GK (Gnocci King) of the central valley, my take was that I loved Tramonti's sauce but I have yet to find anything to rival the GK's light and airy little potato dumplings. We did manage to save half the order to take home to serve as a nice flashback lunch a couple of days later.
We both loved the lasagne (not normally one of my top picks) which was northern Italian style with a bechamel sauce. Our only disagreement here was that I thought it was even better than our beloved Parma back home, where she concluded it was a toss up and would require further investigation. Needless to say there was nothing left of this dish to save for later.
I brought a bottle of Santa Cruz Mountains (SCM) Bobcat Red that I wanted to try and it went well with everything, sorry don't recall the corkage.
528 Seabright Ave
BTW, if in town between now and Jan 26, check out the art exhibit of the local winners of the Gail Davis Awards at the R. Blitzer Gallery, 2885 Mission, 2nd floor. Spent some time talking with Robert Blitzer about the many Futzie Nutzl works as well as his own metal scuptures.