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Originally published Friday, February 17, 2012 at 5:30 AM

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Dining Deal

Pizzeria 22 in West Seattle: a little bit of Italy

Pizzeria 22 in West Seattle serves pizza with a thin crispy crust and quality toppings that are meant to be tasted, not scarfed.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Pizzeria 22

Italian

4213 S.W. College St., Seattle

206-687-7701

http://pizzeria22.com

Hours: 4-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 4-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Etc: Full bar; street parking; wheelchair accessible

Prices: $-$$

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The swinging glass door that opens into the cozy den that is Pizzeria 22 might as well be a portal to Italy.

The bistro-style pizzeria in West Seattle's Admiral district woos you with its intimate atmosphere and wins you over with seriously good pies, pressed so thin that they're served with scissors for cutting.

There's no orgy of cheese here. The pizza, baked in a wood-burning oven, is delicate, with crispy crust and quality toppings served in modest quantities that are meant to be tasted, not scarfed.

My first visit here was an adult outing that started with baked mushrooms and segued into pizza and wine.

The second visit was an equally joyful outing with my son, who drank milk with his pizza and became an instant fan of P-22, proclaiming the pizza "better than bacon."

The menu: Starters include baked mushrooms stuffed with herbed ricotta and roasted garlic ($7), tapenade with herbed flatbread ($10), cured meat plate ($13) and salads delicately dressed with a light olive oil and balsamic vinegar (house salad for $8; arugula, pancetta and Gorgonzola for $9).

There are traditional calzones ($15 for sausage and pepperoni; $14 for mushroom and roasted red peppers) and 12-inch pizzas ($10-$16), served nearly naked or with a variety of toppings including tuna and onion, prosciutto and arugula, sausage and mushrooms, and roasted chicken. Everything, including the classic Margherita 22 (tomato, mozzarella and basil), benefits from a drizzle of chili-infused oil tableside.

For dessert, try house-made gelato ($4 for a generous scoop, or $10 on top of a hazelnut chocolate calzone), or wood-fired marshmallow s'mores ($5 for traditional, $6 for dark chocolate and peanut butter).

What to write home about: The chili-infused olive oil, the pancetta pizza (perfection on a plate) and the soothing décor.

The setting: Romantic and moody, with dim lighting and tables parked close together. The space is long and narrow, with seating available at the bar or along a wall.

Summing up: Two memorable pizzas — pancetta and Margherita — and toasted almond gelato can be had for $36, including tip. We added milk ($2.25), a house salad and gelato, which brought us to the $55 range. Worth it.

Susan Kelleher: 206-464-2508 or skelleher@seattletimes.com

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