On paper, Mike Isabella cuts an impressive figure. He's moved around the country, working with the likes of Marcus Samuelsson, Jose Garces, and José Andrés, and made appearances on Top Chef and Top Chef Masters. But pizza is a notoriously tricky endeavor, even for the most accomplished of chefs.
With the recent opening of DC mini-chain Matchbox's 14th Street location, we paid a visit to see if their pies could light our fire.
Since its opening a little more than a decade ago, Cleveland Park's 2Amys has become a household name in Washington, DC. Even as the Neapolitan pie scene becomes increasingly more crowded, there has yet to be a real contender to challenge 2Amys' reign for best pizzeria in the District. That said, we recently became aware of the glaring omission of never having formally reviewed 2Amys' pies here on Slice. So, to remedy this, we made it out to Cleveland Park to check in on how the pizza is doing at the longtime DC favorite.
While the Neapolitan pizza scene in D.C. has been booming of late, there's little in the way of options if you're in the mood for a deep dish pie. There are a few standouts, if you're not desperate enough to slum it at Uno's, including District of Pi.
For a long time, owner Enzo Algarme has been doing most of the heavy lifting at Pupatella. Although he's had the montanara in the back of his mind since his food truck days, having grown up eating it on the streets of Naples as a child, he didn't want to stretch himself too thin, lest the quality of his other pies suffer. When he was able to bring on some more employees earlier this year, he seized that opportunity to start offering the montanara on a limited basis. If you're as happy as I am that D.C. is keeping up with New York's pizza scene in even the remotest aspect, it is your solemn duty to make it out to Pupatella and demand the montanara as frequently as possible.
There's a Stefano Ferrara oven firing Neapolitan pizzas in a Rockville, MD strip mall. For the Neapolitan-starved suburbanites of DC, Pizza CS is a welcome addition.
I'm definitely doing it wrong. Having my first taste of New Haven style Apizza in Washington D.C. is sort of like trying your first Half-Smoke in Connecticut. While I can't say if Pete's is comparable to the real thing, I can definitely tell you it's a damn fine slice of pizza. The Margherita has a thin crisp crust, a light layer of flavorful sauce, and just the right amount of oozing mozzarella and chopped fresh basil.
Slice reporter Dave Konstantin pointed out the flaws—namely, dense dough and crusts that were too fat. I figured it'd be worth an update to see if any of the problems have been fixed in the half year that's passed since they first opened.
The street-level bar at The Liberty Tavern in Clarendon is one of the hottest nightspots for young professionals in the DC suburbs. The burgers and bar menu are well-regarded, and its reputation as a serious restaurant is firmly established. What many people don't realize is that there's a gas-fired Earthstone oven upstairs turning out some decent pizza.
With wood-fired pizzerias sprouting up all over the Washington area, it's easy to forget about the New York-style, deck-oven pizza that dominated the scene until very recently. Five years ago, most people here thought Neapolitan was a type of ice cream. Faccia Luna in Arlington has been a standby for nearly two decades, and still serves a very satisfying pie.
Real Neapolitan pizza has finally come to Georgetown. Joe Farruggio's il Canale on 31st Street boasts an impressive wood-fired oven built onsite by Italian craftsmen. Though not quite in the same league as Orso in Falls Church or Pupatella in Arlington, il Canale certainly serves Georgetown's best pizza.
Top Cheffer Spike Mendelsohn's much-ballyhooed new pizzeria, just three blocks from the US Capitol, has a very cool vibe and is doing great business, but the pizza just doesn't stack up. Tasty toppings and a nice sauce just can't overcome a crust that's disappointingly dense and bland.
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. [Photos: Dave Konstantin] Serious wood-fired pizza has finally come to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, just across the Potomac from the nation's capital. RedRocks Pizza Napoletana, the first expansion effort by the DC-based RedRocks is a success in many ways—the location is ideal, the space is beautiful, and the pies are solid....
I had high hopes for the recently opened Arlington outpost of Fire Works American Pizzeria. Owned and operated by Tuskies Dining Group, known for the excellent Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg, Virginia and other respected venues, by all rights it should be terrific. In another town, the pizzas at Fire Works might be considered decent. But in Washington today, they don't even begin to compete.