Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright
Apparently, there can never be enough Italian food in Seabright. Tramonti Pizza, which opened in 2012, positioned itself right next to two much-loved Seabright fixtures, La Posta and Engfer Pizza Works, and yet it seems to be doing just fine. The restaurant aims for an authentic Italian style pizza and pasta, in a casual, lively atmosphere. Head Chef (and co-owner) Luca Viara brings plenty of experience, having owned several restaurants in Italy.
Why did you open Tramonti so close to other Italian restaurants?
LUCA VIARA: We are different. La Posta is an Italian-American Restaurant, but it’s more fancy, fine-dining style, and the one across the street at Engfer, their pizza is way different than ours. It’s more like for young people.
What’s a Seabright Pizza?
The idea is like a tribute to the neighborhood, ’cause we really like being here. We have a recipe for making pizza with vegetables not available in the Bay Area that you can only find in the south of Italy. Our version uses kale, sautéed with garlic. It is very similar. Kale is very popular in this area.
You make thin-crust authentic pizzas. How are you cooking them?
We have a wood-fired oven that can use either gas or wood. The oven is imported from Italy. We just cook it in the moment in the wood or gas fire. It depends. Sometimes it’s better to use gas if it’s not so busy, because with wood sometimes you burn people’s mouths off. So we use gas if it’s not too busy, so we can keep it more consistent. Every day when we make the dough we use natural fresh yeast. We make it the night before. It’s really light. We only use flour, water, oil, salt and yeast. The bread we make every morning is also with the pizza dough.
What’s Tramonti mean?
Tramonti is the name of a town in the south of Italy. It’s close to Naples on the coast. It is where my business partner [Giuseppe Vitagliano] is from. Tramonti also means “sunset,” so there is a double meaning. But in our case we mean Tramonti the town.
Is your pasta homemade?
We make the pasta from scratch. Every day we make the gnocchi. Gnocchi is probably the most popular pasta here, with fresh potato, flour, egg. To keep it soft, we make it every morning. We make the ravioli. It’s green because we use spinach and garlic. I recommend our polenta with meatball for sure, and our lasagna. Our lasagna is made in the north Italian style. It’s different than the classic lasagna that you can find in most of the restaurants. There’s more tomato, and not as much meat. I think it’s one of the dishes we’ll never take off the menu.
528 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz. 426-7248.