We, the Pizza
305 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Washington DC 20003 (map); 202-544-4008;
Pizza Style: Roughly New York–style
Oven Type: Gas deck
Price: Slices, $3 to 4; 14-inch pizzas, $16; 16-inch pizzas, $18
Spike Mendelsohn has cooked at Bouchon and Le Cirque. He's a decorated graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and was a contestant on Top Chef. So why are the pies at his newest venture, We, the Pizza, so disappointing?
The much-ballyhooed new pizzeria, just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol, has a 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 shamefully dense and bland.
The crust is lacking in both flavor and crispness—and there's just so much of it. An extra-wide cornicione adds insult to injury; as you gnaw the toppings off, the fat discarded "bones" pile up.
Located next door to Mendelsohn's burger joint, Good Stuff Eatery, We, the Pizza is in a beautiful two-level space. As the only high-end pizzeria within walking distance of the Capitol and its many attendant office buildings, the business potential is huge. It's a real shame Mendelsohn didn't whip his crust into shape.
If you trimmed off the tube of third-rate bread that surrounds it, We, the Pizza's White Pie would actually be quite good, with its high-quality commercial mozzarella, tangy fontina, fresh ricotta, and mellow roasted garlic. The ingredients melt together beautifully and impart a creamy, savory richness.
The same is true for the pepperoni pie. The wide, thin medallions of meat have an intense spiciness and the oregano-accented sauce is tasty, but the moat of crust around it was just discouraging. On a better base, this would be a really admirable pizza.
We, the Pizza also offers pasta, salads, subs, and some good-looking chicken wings. Top Chef fans may swarm to Spike's latest spot, but true pizza aficionados, especially those who are all about the crust, will not be pleased.
This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Serious Eats. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.