Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This just in: "DC Voters Choose Pizza"

There's a new match-up in town, and it has nothing to do with politics. Lately, we're arguing over our pizza. In truth, there weren't many contenders until a few years ago unless you count Jumbo Slice. If you count Jumbo Slice, your vote is immedietly disqualified on account of your probable drunkeness.

Take note of subject 1 below: Eric with jumbo slice, most likely at 3am, with a grease smudge on the lens of the camera. Brilliant.

So recently everyone's talking pizza! When did DC get to be a pizza town? Arugula Files just wrote about Pizzaria Orso, Mango and Tomato wrote about Pete's Apizza...Chowhound was talking about "We, The Pizza". All of this talk just makes me hungry.

I know that despite my age of "almost" 30, I still say that pizza is my favorite food and am immedietly tempted to add that "Full House" is my favorite show like any good 3rd-grader. But I like to think I have an evolved palette. Mature taste-buds. The good thing for my oh-so-sophisticated cravings is that DC has super grown-up pizza. It's not like Buffalo-style I grew up with, and don't get me wrong I LOVE Buffalo pizza, but here we have descriptors like "wood-fired" and "Neopolitan" whereas Buffalo sticks to descriptors like "half sheet with a bucket of wings and side of ranch dressing" (again, delicious).

Well, I must start my engines because I've tried almost NONE of these new pizza places. Awful for someone who claims pizza to be their favorite food, I know, but we generally make pizza at home. So in honor of joining the masses in arguing like a good DC-politico and taking part in my American right to vote, I've got to have an informed, educated opinion. I must try all the pizza in town. Well, not jumbo slice. I've had plenty of that. My list includes our city's recent openings of "boutique" pizza that you can't get past midnight. So sorry, Alberto's, even though you're kind of the darling of the jumbo slice.

The contenders, so far, include:

  • Pete's Apizza

  • Pizzaria Paradiso

  • We, The Pizza

  • Pizzaria Orso

  • Two Amy's (check)

  • Matchbox (check)

  • Radius

  • I figured that to be fair, Two Amy's deserved a revisit to refresh my memory. It had been a solid three years since my last visit and it has been around longer than many contenders on my list. So what a happy place to meet Dan and Caroline for dinner. Dan actually gets credit for the inspiration for this posting because he declared his favorite to be Paradiso. I hadn't had it, so I couldn't argue. I was bummed. I enjoy a good food argument.

    We needed a good sampling of the menu so everyone got to choose one appetizer: we had several cheeses and meats, including a gorgeous duck prosciutto and some burrata and a plate of squash blossoms for the table. Then each couple got a pizza: both classic Neopolitan, one with pepperoni and the other with cherry tomatoes and sausage.

    This is a prosciutto on what they described as a "sweet onion creame". Whoever thought to transform onions into little pillows of heaven needs to be knighted, STAT.

    The pizza is excellent. You can't argue that. The crust is chewy and stretchy and crisp is all the right places, the sauces are added in the right amounts and the cheese and toppings are top-notch. And my favorite part is that they serve it with a little creamer of olive oil for drizzling (liberally, in my case) a top your pie. Below is Caroline and Dan's pizza with sausage and cherry tomatoes. They are adequately priced and just the right size for sharing.

    The interesting thing about Two Amy's is this (which our server even said himself): everything ELSE is so good that many people actually go for the appetizers and small plates. If you go that route, you can easily spend a small fortune and not be full. On the other hand, it could totally be worth it. Here is our dessert: dark sweet cherries poached in spiced wine and served over ice cream. YUM.

    So, I'm not going to make a judgement call yet. Two Amy's sets the bar rediculously high for the quality of their pizza, service, other menu offerings and atmosphere. It harkens back to a true Neopolitan pizzeria. I quite feared that if Captain McClusky and The Turk were eating there that we may have seen a gun fight. Anyways. I loved it. But I want more. The cravings are getting stronger.

    Where is your favorite local place to get pizza?

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