Ask a Washingtonian for recommendations on where newcomers should eat and more likely than not their list will include 2Amys and Standard. Shining stars of comforting Italian and neighborhood charm, respectively, it's hard to imagine any product of a collaboration of the two teams would be anything less than stellar. And sure enough, when 2Amys founders Peter Pastan and Amy Morgan teamed up with Standard co-owners Tad Curtz and David Rosner to quietly open Etto, they didn't disappoint.
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Since opening last summer, H &pizza's mission has been, in the words of co-owner Michael Lastoria, "to create a modern neighborhood pizzeria that embodied the warmth and friendliness of the old family pizza parlor." Step inside the narrow space along the Atlas District corridor, and that intent is immediately apparent. Communal tables, exposed brick, and a briskly moving line drive home that neighborhood charm Lastoria so covets. It's made H &pizza a popular stop for H Street regulars and late night revelers alike (they're open until 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday). All of that is secondary, though, to the pizza itself.
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.
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.
A solid four stars on Yelp, eighty-six percent like it on Urbanspoon, and many rave that it's the best New York-style pizza in the DC area. Thinking that a great pizzeria had miraculously flown below my radar for all these years, I headed straight to Valentino's in Alexandria, ready to be impressed.
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.
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.
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.
"When you build a pizza oven, suddenly everyone is your friend—even people you were sure hated you! Our neighbor's kids come to the fence with hungry looks and usually go back in with a couple of pizzas." —Dave Konstantin
After much anticipation, Pizzeria Orso, with Edan MacQuaid as executive chef, is up and running in the close-in Washington suburb of Falls Church, Virginia. MacQuaid made his name as head pizzaiolo at 2 Amys in Northwest D.C., now one of the most popular restaurants — of any kind — in the nation's capital, and was a pioneer in bringing true Neapolitan pizza to the U.S. After 18 years in the pizza business, the still-young MacQuaid is now running his own show, creating an exquisite pizzeria that is respectful but not slavish to the ancient traditions.
Reaching in to the Slice mailbag, we've got some tips from the D.C. area ... Adam,Just a few items I thought worth noting.1. Aside from Pizzeria Orso, in other Northern Virginia/D.C. pizza news, the couple behind Pupatella, a Neapolitan pizza cart you mentioned a couple years ago, finally opened their full restaurant a couple weeks ago. It is also called Pupatella, and I've been twice now, and while they are still getting the operation in order, the pizza I had most recently was fantastic. Probably better than 2 Amys, which is their only real D.C.-area competition (the others are mediocre...