Capitol Hill food+drink | First look at Dino’s Tomato Pie

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Pizza man Brandon Pettit (Images: CHS)

Pizza man Brandon Pettit (Images: CHS)

It’s fitting. As the city’s most transit-oriented neighborhood prepares to open the biggest public transit infrastructure investment yet, a “walkable bar” with a pizza counter and lounge that appears destined to join the ranks of Capitol Hill’s great “few block radius” establishments is settling in at Denny and E Olive Way.

Dino’s Tomato Pie, with its old school, “serving pizza ’round or square’ since March 2016” vibe, is now open.

Brandon Pettit tells us his Dino’s crew is still coming up to speed to meet what has so far been greater than expected demand from the tightly packed blocks of the  Pine, Olive Way, Howell-Area Triangle — POWHat. For now, no slices, no takeout, and there is no delivery, yet — unless you have a great friend who will stop by and pick up a pie for you.IMG_1876

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IMG_1939In the meantime, Dino’s is part of a wave of new pizza across Capitol Hill. Last year, Pettit said he believed that higher profit margin, smaller venues like Dino’s were already a trend in Seattle food and drink and that the minimum wage upgrade would create even more. “A slow bar makes as much money as a busy restaurant,” Pettit said.

Pettit’s new joint is the “random Jersey pizza tavern” sibling in his Ballard-born Delancey restaurant family. Pettit told CHS he wanted Dino’s design by Heliotrope Architects to have an old school vibe “like Vito’s but not as classy and without the piano.” The space was formerly a check cashing chain and, before that, a retro sneaker shop.

Capitol Hill’s influx of pizza-related investment is playing out with a gusto at the intersection. Across the street, 9-year-old pizza purveyor Amante’s is upping its game under a new owner.

Dino’s signature offering is its square pies “baked two or three times with a lot of burnt cheese around the corners.” There is beer and wine and a full bar. And, key for a true neighborhood joint, it’s open every day — 4 PM to 2 AM. Being there day in and day out is important for the thousands of neighbors living with in a short walk of Pettit’s new corner. “Nobody who lives up there ever leaves,” Pettit told us last year.

You can learn more at the also-old-school dinostomatopie.com.

Capitol Hill food+drink notes

  • The Calf and Kid cheese counter is a goner and Rain Shadow Meats says construction is crimping sales at Melrose Market.
  • Optimism Brewing owner on Pike/Pine’s preservation incentive program: “I think we could be in a situation where every character structure is just a facade.”
  • Happy Pi Day at Lost Lake.IMG_2924
  • Plant-based ice cream shop Frankie and Jo’s is making plans for Pike/Pine.
  • East Anchor Seafood is now open in Madrona.
  • E Madison’s Queen Bee Cafe is dropping prices.
  • 12th Ave cafe joining the wave of area Starbucks getting overhauls, permit says.
  • Squirrel Chops cafe+salon is planning a summer opening in the Central District at 22nd and Union.
  • Some Capitol Hill connections in the finalists for the Beard Awards best chef Northwest:Mike Easton, Il Corvo
    Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins
    Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule
    Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox in Portland
    Justin Woodward, Castagna in Portland
  • UPDATE: Yang and Chirchi — behind Capitol Hill’s Trove — also announced Tuesday that they’re spreading their wings with a new project in Portland:
    Chefs Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi have masterfully merged their passion for Korean cuisine and the growing Seattle dining palette with their three established restaurants, Joule, Revel and Trove. Receiving unstinting praise for their culinary approach, Yang and Chirchi have partnered with Eric and Karen Bowler, owners of Portland’s popular bar and lounge venues, Fortune and Tube. Now the team is combining their talents to bring Portland a Korean-inspired restaurant for both intimate dinners and those looking for a bustling night out. Opening this summer in Portland’s SE Industrial neighborhood, the new restaurant, will be in the former Salvation Army Building. It will be sharing a space with friend and business partner, Evo. Expect a few surprises and a leading lineup from this group who strive to bring excellence in restaurant, bar and retail.
    It’s the second Seattle to Portland food+drink venture we’ve heard about this week — though only the first we can write about. Trend?
  • So, where should we eat in the International District?
  • Bar Sue’s new kitchen partner Melt — from Nate’s Wings and Waffles owner Darren McGill — debuts Tuesday night.
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23 thoughts on “Capitol Hill food+drink | First look at Dino’s Tomato Pie

  1. “For now, no slices, no takeout, and there is no delivery, yet — unless you have a great friend who will stop by and pick up a pie for you”

    I’m confused. I can’t do take out but I can have a great friend stop by and pick up a pie on my behalf? Isn’t that takeout?

    Their pizza looks amazing! Can’t wait to try it out.

  2. Stopped by day after opening. Good service, good food, and sharp decor. A welcome addition to the neighborhood! Looking forward to by the slice options, kinda necessary if you’re doing “jersey style”.

  3. Vito’s is named for a real person. Glad it’s not called Something & Something but why is it called Dino’s? Is that supposed to be “Jersey” ?

    • brandon pettit is the owner of this place. so i am assuming that he’s making a “jersey italian” play on his name as “brandino” or dino for short. so this would be dino’s place; or ‘dino’s’.

  4. Does NOT meet the hype.

    Twice I’ve stopped by to try this much advertised “square style” pizza and twice they haven’t had it available. And it’s not like I was there right before closing…I stopped by at 5PM in the afternoon.

  5. We stopped in to Dino’s and realized that the two of us couldn’t consume an 18″ pizza. While we want to try it all, we don’t want to waste the food in the end. Smaller sizes better for us. Plus, we couldn’t locate the name Dino’s anywhere on the exterior of the building or glass. Hmmmm…

  6. Came in on Friday with a group of six. We were told it was first come first serve. Everyone who was there before us waited up front for a table while two of us went to the far end of the bar and grabbed the first table that opened up. It’s a dog eat dog world out there. Pizza was large, flavorful and cooked to perfection.

  7. Went in earlier in the week, was disappointed that you can’t get slices. Got an 18 inch pepperoni, it was simply okay. I won’t come back unless they have slices. Also the pizza with not worth 22 bucks.