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.
'Arlington VA' on Serious Eats
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.
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.
Pupatella, Enzo Algarme and Anastasiya Laufenberg's wildly popular new restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, sets a new standard for affordable eating in the DC area. Just six miles west of the White House, this Neapolitan-style pizzeria turns out ethereal pies at earthbound prices.