Daily Slice: Margherita at Wiseguy NY Pizza in Washington, DC
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
You'd be forgiven for being wary of a pizzeria that claims to be the best New York style pizza outside of New York and also has the word, "Fuhgeddaboudit!!!," emblazoned all over it, but I'm here to allay your skepticism—Wiseguy NY Pizza in Chinatown is one of the best by the slice shops in DC. Opening just over a month ago, Wiseguy has already seen a huge amount of a traffic. Move past the superfluous amount of New York kitsch (charming to some, tacky to others) and you'll find a man that's been in the pizza business for 22 years, Tony Erol. A New England native, Erol proudly boasts of his extensive pizza tours, of which he cites Joe's and Di Fara as his favorites.
Wiseguy employs the traditional 2" deck ovens used in New York pizzerias and water filtered to mimic New Yorks taps to churn out his pies. The result is a crust that is crisp, lightly charred, and nicely chewy and doughy where it counts. Topped with a balanced combination of flavorful sauce that's slightly sweet and tangy, fresh mozzarella, and whole basil leaves, the Margherita slice ($3.50) is probably the closest thing to a New York slice you're likely to get in DC. That may be a controversial statement (due respect to Italian Store and Vace loyalists), but there's no denying that there's been a vacuum for solid, by the slice spots in the District and Wiseguy is a tremendously welcome addition. Throw in the fact that Wiseguy also serves a very respectable Sicilian slice, another rarity, and I daresay the pizzeria will be here to stay. (Be advised: Wiseguy is not currently taking phone orders due to high volume in the store)
Wiseguy NY Pizza
About the author: Brian Oh is a Washington, DC based international development professional, food lover, and photographer. In his free time, you can usually find him chasing down a good burger or slice. Follow him on Twitter @brianoh11