Pizzeria La Gitana

Pizzeria la Gitana
518 Capitol Way S, Olympia

309 E Yelm Ave, Yelm


For Pizzeria La Gitana, serving the perfect pizza has less to do with carryout coupons and more to do with passion.

“Pizza is an art. Our crust, cheese, sauce, toppings and taste are all part of what makes us authentic Italian,” said pizzeria owner Carlos Morist. “We have something very good here.”

Morist and co-owner Francesco Chiechi opened Pizzeria La Gitana in downtown Olympia last year. The restaurant has a comfortable, open feel with high ceilings and exposed brick walls that showcase vivid contemporary paintings in a stylish, Mediterranean flair. The space offers big rustic wood tables, pull-out chairs and lots of elbow room for pizza lovers of all ages to dig right in. Large groups can be accommodated easily for family-style dining.

The homemade pizzas are baked in a wood-fired oven using apple, cherry or pear wood to accentuate the delicate taste of the thin crust scratch-made from imported Italian flour (gluten-free crust is available!). Lightly sauced with extra virgin olive oil and tangy tomato sauce, the pies are further topped with authentic ingredients such as organic fresh vegetables, imported olives, pepperoni, prosciutto San Daniele, and imported Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.

The most popular combinations are Alexa’s Choice (sausage, mozzarella, fresh tomato, fresh basil), the 4 Stagioni (mozzarella, ham, mushrooms, artichokes, sausage), and the prosciutto arugula—thinly sliced prosciutto heaped with fresh arugula. The tender, herbaceous greens give the pizza a bright, peppery flavor and add texture to every bite.

La Gitana is also a great lunch spot to talk shop with colleagues over the hearty La Gitana salad bursting with fresh greens, artichoke hearts, olives, mushrooms, tomatoes and Parmesan.

Or make the restaurant a dessert destination. Romance your sweetheart over frothy cappuccinos and tiramisu. Shortbread ladyfingers are soaked in espresso and smothered in a dreamy, creamy heaping of mascarpone and sweet chocolate shavings that will leave you with a love for all things La Gitana.


Fall 2012


Community Events: Northwest Corks & Crush
Community Events: Go Red For Women
Artist Spotlight: Dala
South Sound Fall Theater Preview


Pizzeria La Gitana
Madea’s Cajun Cafe

Design & Style

Falling Into Place: Fall Fashion Trends
A Cave Of His Own


Come Walk With Me – A Multicare Tradition
Seven Inlets Spa at Little Creek Casino

Seven Inlets Spa at Little Creek Casino

Located at Little Creek Casino, Seven Inlets Spa is, we proclaim, a “Best Bet”—no gambling pun intended—when you are looking for a first-class spa treatment.

Opened in July 2012, the spa was named after the seven inlets of the south Puget Sound. Each of the spa’s seven state-of-the-art personal care suites is named for an inlet, where a relaxation experience awaits.

The relaxation begins in the well-appointed and spacious earth-toned changing rooms. You slip into a comfortable thick robe and slippers to prepare for your service. “One of my favorite things is Seven Inlets Spa’s lemongrass lotion, made exclusively for the spa,” says Marketing Manager Jeryl Swanson.

The next transition in your journey of relaxation is in the meditation room, where reclining spa chairs invite you to sit and relax. The dimly lit room is complete with the sound of falling water from the water feature in the center.

Then it’s time to enjoy the spa’s services: facials, manicures, pedicures, body treatments and total body waxing. “My favorite service is massage, which ranges from Salish Express to deep tissue to sports massage,” says Sally, a staff member at the spa.

For a special occasion or regular adventure in relaxation, treat yourself to a calming journey at the Seven Inlets Spa and then continue on and play at the resort.


For more information:
360.462.1SPA (1772)

Come Walk With Me – A Multicare Tradition

When dairy farmers Corty and Pinky Van- Dyk moved to Sumner in 1966, they didn’t realize their family would grow from six children to 50 members who would create
a lasting legacy of love in the community. The third generation had come along by 1986 when Pinky learned she had breast cancer.

“It was scary,” said Ida McLeary, Pinky’s eldest child. Although Pinky had a 4 percent chance of survival at the time, she lived another 26 years. But by 2008 Ida’s sister Laura Steinthal had breast cancer and their mother’s cancer had returned. On their behalf, family members participated in the Sumner Downtown Association’s breast cancer fundraiser called Come Walk With Me. Its 200 participants brought in just over $3,500.

The VanDyks felt inspired and began to work. In 2009, Ida and her sister Gertie Huff co-chaired the committee, and Gertie’s daughter Brittany made the walk her senior class project at Sumner High School. They drew 350 participants and brought in $7,832. Laura died in November of that year, and their dedication intensified.

In 2010, the Good Samaritan Foundation—serving MultiCare’s Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup—adopted Come Walk With Me as one of its official events, and it yielded $22,000. With the VanDyk family as the driving force, the event earned $54,000 in 2011 and had 744 inspired participants.

While other walks benefit research, this one focuses on providing free mammograms, wigs, hats, prostheses and more, through the MultiCare Regional Cancer Center at Good Samaritan Hospital. But at its core, it’s all about a family offering love to patients, in memory of two beloved women. Pinky VanDyk died in January 2012.

“They had lives and they touched people,” Ida said. “That’s still there. The love you have—it goes to someone else.”

Join Come Walk With Me on Saturday, October 6, 2012.


For more information:

A Cave Of His Own

Featured in the Master Builders Tour of Remodeled Homes

Some men fantasize about owning the ultimate “man cave,” but one Tacoma man’s fantasy came to life, thanks to Phase II Inc. Having remodeled the client’s century-old home a few years ago, the Phase II remodeling contractors recently removed the badly deteriorated detached garage and created an attached one so inviting it won awards from the Master Builders Association at the Pierce County and state levels.

Project Manager Ronald Hjelm said, “The attention to detail is just over the top on this one. I think that’s what put it above and beyond the rest.”

The owner of this man cave races cars and likes to tinker with them too. “He wanted a place where he could get away from everyday life and relax,” Hjelm said, “but also a workable garage, not a show garage.”

It holds four cars and features a built-in air compressor, great lighting, a wall-mounted vacuum system, a workbench with stainless steel top, plenty of tool storage and more. “It has a cement floor with in-floor heat, so he can maintain whatever temperature he wants in the garage,” Hjelm said. The floor was stained red after getting a high polish with diamond grit.

Stairs lead to a workout room/home office space above; and a small basement below houses the air compressor, hot water tank and the boiler for the in-floor heat. Hjelm covered a wall with rustic tongue-and-groove boards recycled from the old garage. The windows add a vintage look.

“One of our main challenges was keeping it in line with a house that was built a hundred years ago,” Hjelm said. “Even though it’s brand new, it looks like it’s
part of the house. We painstakingly tried to make every detail look the same.”

You can view the award-winning details yourself during the Master Builders Tour of Remodeled Homes on September 29 and 30 from 10am to 5pm.


For more information: Master Builders
Association Tour: mba-tour.com
Featured Builder: phaseii.net
Photography: jhobsonphotography.com

Falling Into Place – Fall Fashion Trends

It may feel as if summer went to quickly, but the fashion industry has already moved onto the fall season. It is the time of year when people start transitioning their closets away from sundresses and toward chunky sweaters. The great news for fall fashion is that you can simply tweak a few things rather than overhaul your entire wardrobe.

This fall, consider keeping your entire wardrobe accessible and use layering to make your style season-appropriate. You can convert your summer dresses into fall looks by adding a fitted jacket, a scarf, a pair of tights and closed-toed shoes or boots.

In the Pacific Northwest, we tend to play it safe with neutral colors. But consider adding a pop of color to add cheer to your style with red or jewel tones—very on trend this season! Sparkle can also be used to raise your wardrobe spirits. Sequins continue to be seen in looks from casual to elegant fashions. Sparkle can even translate into your beauty choices with shimmery eye shadow, powder and lipsticks.

For women, a fabulous look can be achieved through monotone layering. Wearing garments of similar color and tone can be boring, but you can increase the visual appeal of this look by using texture such as chunky knits, fur and leather. Add a belt to cinch the waist for a more feminine look.

Men can also benefit from layering this season. Combining vests, cardigans, jackets, slacks and suits in various ways can provide an abundance of different outfits. Mixed patterns and bold colors are all the rage in menswear. Have fun with your wardrobe choices by pairing a plaid shirt with a tweed jacket, wearing a bow tie with a brightly colored shirt and a cardigan, or sporting a loudly patterned pocket square. Also, hats are making a huge comeback, thanks in part to the revival of “The Great Gatsby”! A fedora is the perfect addition to any man’s style for the winter.


For more information: briseeley.com or 612.423.0021

Madea’s Cajun Cafe

Madea’s Cajun Cafe
417 Garfield St S, Tacoma

Madea’s Cajun Café is a homey, casual diner with just a handful of tables; the food is rustic and authentic. Owned by Louisiana native Keitha Okafor and her sister Mary Williams, it opened in July 2011, just a couple of blocks from the PLU campus.

It was Okafor’s son who persuaded the two to open a restaurant and her grandmother who inspired the food. In the South, “Madea” is a term of endearment for grandmother. Since Okafor learned most of her cooking techniques from her grandma, it seemed fitting to name the restaurant for her.

There are few Cajun establishments in the Pierce County area, but Okafor’s success is not due to lack of competition. “If the food’s good, they’ll keep coming back,” she said. The food is good, and they do keep coming back.

Cajun fried pickles are a hearty appetizer, accompanied by blue cheese or ranch dressing. Tangy dill slices are tossed in a seasoned breading and served up in generous portions. Boudin sausage links and Cajun fried turkey wings are also on the menu.

Chunks of chicken, shrimp and Andouille sausage are abundant in Madea’s jambalaya. Okafor’s spice blend is complex and earthy and packs some heat. The Po-boy shrimp sandwich combines sweet batter-fried prawns on a crisp roll with a dressing lightly laced with horseradish. Also worth a try are seafood gumbo, crawfish étouffé, and red beans and rice. For less adventurous palates, the menu offers a variety of burgers.

Madea’s fare is full-flavored and rich in subtle nuances. As Paul Prudhomme said, “When the taste changes with every bite and the last bite is as good as the first, that’s Cajun.”


South Sound Fall Theater Preview

Ever wish you could be a fly on the wall at your favorite venues? Would you like to know what the people who choose the shows can’t wait to see themselves? So would we! That’s why, in addition to the usual question—“What’s onstage this fall?”—we asked South Sound theater staff, “What are you personally excited about this season?” And while they—and we!—encourage you to partake in all the exciting productions this year, we are letting you in on a few picks from our insiders, flies on the wall if you will.

The 2012-13 season at the WASHINGTON CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS in Olympia is packed with diversity of origin and style, featuring jazz ballet from Montreal, touring musicals from Broadway, lectures from National Geographic, imperial acrobats from China, and opera from the Met on the big screen. Interim Executive Director Kevin Boyer shared his own “staff picks” list, which includes preferences as wide-ranging as the personalities. Several staffers mentioned the touring shows for STOMP!, ROCK OF AGES and BROADWAY’S NEXT HIT MUSICAL, while others chose LES BALLETS JAZZ and SPECTRUM DANCE THEATER.

As for Boyer’s own picks? After some soul-searching to narrow down the choices, he proclaimed: “Our must-see fall show is THE MYSTICAL ARTS OF TIBET.” For a full week in October, the multiphonic singers of Tibet’s Drepung Loseling Monastery invite the public, free of charge, to watch them create a vibrant sand mandala, a graphic, symbolic pattern made of colored sand. After a performance of sacred music and dance, the group will celebrate their time in the community with a procession to Percival Landing to place the sands from the mandala in the sea as an offering of peace.

Lacey Leffler, marketing director at the BROADWAY CENTER in Tacoma, shared her must-sees for the season: In October, DALA, the Canadian singer/songwriter duo brings their award-winning pop tunes and “infectiously appealing” charm to the South Sound. Also in October, the touring company of the Pulitzer- and nine-time Tony-award-winning A CHORUS LINE takes you backstage, through the grit and grind and needful optimism of Broadway auditions. Leffler also recommends VIDEO GAMES LIVE WITH TACOMA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA in November. Relive those catchy tunes from your favorite video games from childhood (or yesterday) with a fantastic light- and video-filled production.

John Munn of LAKEWOOD PLAYHOUSE has a lot to be excited about this season. “It’s my first season as managing artistic director, 30 years from my first appearance as an actor here,” he said. He’s looking forward to two directors making their Lakewood debut in both of the fall main-stage shows and the remounting of an often-requested audience favorite.

In Lakewood’s traditional fall mystery slot, SHERLOCK’S LAST CASE, by Charles Marowitz, brings some unexpected characters to the Holmesian world and packs a first-act twist to surprise even the well-seasoned Holmes fan. For Halloween, a special performance of the fifth annual HALLOWEEN RADIO SHOW comes to the stage, where live sound effects accompany the actors in a spooky radio play that harkens back to the Golden Age of Radio. Finally, with Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT, you’ll enjoy the tale of mischief, friendship and love-in-disguise in a mummer- style period production with plenty of audience participation.

At TACOMA LITTLE THEATRE, the main-stage shows are a study in contrasts. September opens with SYLVIA, a romantic comedy about a man, his wife, and “the other woman”—a stray dog, played by a lap-cuddling, face-licking, territory-protecting woman. In October, the mood darkens with NIGHT WATCH, a psychological thriller of the Hitchcock school, then buoys beautifully for the holidays with MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET. But ask Production Manager Brie Yost what she’s most looking forward to and she’ll tell you, “This season is really exciting because we are bringing back the second-stage series.” Beginning after the New Year, keep your eyes open for THE LARAMIE PROJECT, a compelling docudrama about the real-life tragedy of Matthew Shepard, and THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE, ABRIDGED, in which three actors impossibly, hilariously stage 37 plays in two hours.

As lovers of and advocates for theater and the arts, the staff, board members and volunteers at our South Sound theaters want the audience to feel a sense of community. Any fly on the wall could attest that the audience—that’s you—is the entire reason for selecting the acts and events each season. Make your own “picks list,” and set a date to see something new and surprising. And if you ever feel overwhelmed by the choices? Ask your friends for their suggestion—a great night at the theater is all about a fresh perspective.


For more information:

Community Events: Go Red For Women

Three hundred and fifty community minded ladies attended the American Heart Association’s Go Red luncheon at the prestigious Hotel Murano in Tacoma. The heart of this savvy fundraising luncheon was the testimonials from Better U lifestyle challenge participants and their triumphs in making themselves and their families healthier. In the end, the top notch luncheon raised over $160,000, a 15K increase from last year. Funds raised support the awareness, education and community programs to help women learn about lowering their risk for heart disease.

Artist Spotlight: Dala

Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine have been swapping music, inside jokes, juicy secrets and cool clothes since high school. That’s just what best friends do.

And in 2002, things got even more harmonious between them. The Toronto-based friends were both musicians and decided to compose and sing their initial song together. It turned out well. Really well. In fact, they formed a musical duo and named themselves Dala—combining the last two letters of their first names—to celebrate the new band, the new partnership and their new sound.

Over the past decade, Dala has strummed and hummed themselves into a powerful presence on the Canadian folk music scene. The dynamite duo won a coveted Juno Award, received five Canadian Folk Music Award nominations, had their song “Horses” selected for NPR’s Top Ten Folk Songs of 2009, and starred in the successful PBS special “Girls From the North Country.” They just released their fifth album, “Best Day.”

“It’s been so exciting,” Carabine said of the album release. “We have had a summer full of festivals and touring, going coast to coast in Canada. We have seen old fans and gained a lot of new ones. Our plans for the U.S. tour this fall will include going to California and Washington, and then visiting some of the western provinces like Alberta and British Columbia.”

Social media is also a huge tool for reaching Dala devotees. “We can be in direct contact with our fan base through social media,” said Carabine. “It’s very empowering and encouraging. It feels like we never stop working because we love what we do. Our fans are our friends.”

Join Dala as they perform a concert at Theatre on the Square in Tacoma on Thursday, October 25, 2012, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $36 through Broadway Center for the Performing Arts. To preview the show and purchase tickets, visit broadwaycenter.org.