By Cassandra VanKeuren Special to the Herald
From the outside, Evviva Woodfired Pizza doesn’t look like something special. It’s tucked away in a quiet strip mall just across the street from the ferry pay station. But I am so glad I wandered in.
The first thing I smelled when I got inside was the aroma of cherry wood smoke from the beautiful pizza oven. The restaurant is decorated with natural elements: wood slab family style tables, wood facade to the counters and stone floors. Italian music plays on the speakers overhead while world soccer is muted on the TV, all adding to a cozy and relaxed atmosphere.
The menu offers about 12 different types of pizzas, Caesar and Caprese salads, gelato, microbrews on tap and a handful of select wines.
There are two sizes of pizzas. The first is an 11-inch for between $9 to $11 and it is cut into four large slices. The 16-inch ranges in price from $16 to $20 and has about eight slices.
On my first visit, my son and I had a half-pepperoni and half-cranberry goat cheese pizza.
This is the kind of pizza I had been craving since I left my hometown of Portland, Ore. The crust was thin and chewy and perfectly cooked. I loved the contrast between the tangy cranberries and the rich goat cheese. It was just the right amount of mozzarella and the whole thing was dressed beautifully with organic extra virgin olive oil and garlic. I loved every bit of it.
I was pleasantly surprised to see they offered nitrate-free pepperoni. I had a bite of my son’s pizza and it was awesome.
On my second visit, I ordered the carne trio. This one is made up of prosciutto cotto, Calabrese and chicken sausage and doused with San Marzano tomato sauce. The pizza was lightly spicy and the meats did not overwhelm the beauty of the crust.
Each week Evviva does a special themed pizza. This week is the mushroom or funghi and the varieties are porcini, crimini, a flavorful fior di latte mozzarella, a hard cheese or grana pizza, prosciutto cotto and basil.
The service at Evviva is incredibly quick and friendly. The owner has a quiet demeanor but seems quite proud of his shop. He always seems happy to oblige the odd order and has yet to take issue with me ordering half of one type of pizza and half of another.
Other things I loved about Evviva include the owner’s use of natural meats and organic flour and olive oil, the choice of corn syrup-free sodas and drinks in the cold case, the tiramisu and gelato from D’Ambrosio in Seattle for dessert and Evviva’s use of locally grown cherry wood from Yakima in its pizza oven.
If you are looking for the type of pizza loaded with toppings and dripping in cheese, don’t come here because it’s not what they do.
What Evviva does do is hand-formed artisan pizza made with natural and organic ingredients.
This is the perfect place to take a family. Everything I have had so far on Evviva’s menu is excellent, and I will definitely make a stop here again if I am heading to Edmonds’ doggie beach or need a quick bite to eat getting off the Kingston ferry.
Evviva Woodfired Pizza
178 Sunset Ave. S, Edmonds;
Specialty: Gourmet and artisan pizzas
Hours: 4 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Sunday.