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Decent pizza stand-in for 2 Amys in Arlington?

2 Amys, in DC by the National Cathedral, has the best pizza I've found anywhere. Hands down. But my girlfriend and I hardly ever wander into town lately, and I'm feeling deprived. Does anyone know of a good wood-fired/artisinal pizza joint in Arlington that can fill my craving between pilgrimages?

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  1. I'd eat at Faccia Luna or Bebo Trattoria. Not sure how they compare with 2 Amys since I haven't been there. A word of caution on Bebo, the service can suck mightily. They're not rude, just inept.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ericandblueboy

      I've never been to 2 Amys either, but I would suggest Pie-tanza for a good wood-fired pizza. It's in the Lee-Harrison shopping strip, not surprisingly at the intersection of Lee Highway and Harrison St. It can be a bit noisy with all the kids there but it's very good pizza.

      1. re: cabster

        I'll second Pie-Tanza. Used to be great before they expanded into Falls Church and changed the menu a bit. Still, the best in NoVa and very delicious.

        1. re: Steve

          third pie-tanza. go earlier or later to avoid the kids with families. good service, and other pastas are good, too. pizza toppings are fresh, fresh, fresh. also, they slow roast their own tomatoes, so the toppings and sauces are terrific. ask for extra parmesan for your pizza; they'll bring it over, fresh-grated.

          http://www.pie-tanza.com/

          washpo article about the business: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/...

      2. re: Ericandblueboy

        I like Faccia Luna, too. Pizza Paradiso's sort of a compromise, distance-wise, between Arlington and Two Amys.

      3. I haven't had it, but Liberty Tavern in Clarendon is supposed to have pretty good pizza. Piola in Rosslyn isn't bad either.

        1. Liberty Tavern has great non-traditional pizza, at least the Vermont, good crust, nice good quality toppings.

          What about Sette Bello? Thin crust, good toppings. I haven't been to Bebo because of the service, but if it has gotten better, I would think it would probably be the best.

          I think Bebo or Sette Bello is your best bet.

          I really think the best pizza is at the Pupatella food cart in Ballston, but that is only weekdays, during the day with no seats, just the park.

          I find Faccia Luna really salty. Haven't been to Piezana, but may have to try it now.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ktmoomau

            Faccia Luna isn't any more salty than Bebo or Pizza Paradiso as far as I can tell. And Bebo's service isn't good, as of a month ago. Some suggests sitting at the bar will get you decent service. Church St. Pizza has good NYC by the slice type pizza, i.e., put some toppings on and then reheat. Big slices with generous toppings, crust that you can fold in half without snapping and dripping with grease. A slice with sausage and onions is $2.25, large salad is $3.99. To be honest, I don't even like typical NY pizza that you get from Ray's, Ben's, Two Boots to Go Go, etc. the usual suspects in the village.

            1. re: Ericandblueboy

              Where is Church St. Pizza? Address, neighborhood....thanks

              1. re: jkosnett

                It's in Vienna on Church Street.

          2. What's the place in Burke. Bella ____

            It's got a wood fired pizza that's pretty good. Better since you have to trek to Burke for it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Joe H

              I second this, the primary pizza maker at Bebo now is "George" while Roberto is in Oregon..he is very good, if no Roberto, and produces a top notch pie at least as good as Two Amy's...service has improved this summer...

              1. re: Dennis S

                Villa Bella is the name of the place in Burke. Worth giving it a try, and worth it for me to head back there after a hiatus of a couple of years.

              2. I rarely wander into town either, so all I know about 2 Amys is what people write here, and like barbecue, there are those who love it and those who can't figure out why others love it. If it's wood-fired that you're looking for first, I'm pretty sure that both locations of Pie-Tanza cook with wood. The original is in the shopping center at Lee Highway and Harrison Street (anchored by Harris-Teeter), and now there's a new branch in Falls Church on Broad Street at the west end, near Haycock Rd (anchored by Giant and Staples).

                From the descriptions of 2 Amys, I'd guess that Pie-Tanza is pretty similar in principle - crust a bit thin and crispy but not like a cracker, lots of vegetable combinations for toppings. Pizzas are reasonably sized for two, particularly if you share a salad.

                1. Try Pupatella. Really.

                  http://www.pupatella.com/

                  1. I've always liked Tutto Bene's pizza but recognize that pizza liking is really dependent upon the first pizza you ever ate and what Tutto has is like that I ate in Brooklyn when I was under ten in the great long ago.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: BookGuy

                      Tuto Bene's pizza is very underated and $8 for a small margherita is a steal...the crust is a bit "sweet" but the sauce and cheese are very good..certainlt one of the better pies right beneath the top tier places...comparable to Faccia Luna..you can do alot worse

                    2. Totally forgot until I was thinking about going to Buzz, I like Rustico pizza a lot, it is thin crust and good. Some people have said they have had bad service, but I have been in the bar area twice now and the bartenders we had both times were really great.

                      1. I love Bebo's pizza. I am a former NYer and pizza is a major food group for me. I haven't had a problem with the service but that may just be luck.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: beanodc

                          Agree. Bebos pizza is excellent. Every bit as good as 2 Amys. People need to get over the service and just get pizza and wine. and relax. Everything will be fine. And I've been through the appalling service thing. I still go back.

                        2. hello!? why is nobody mentioning the italian store?! it's a little italian market on lee highway and although their pizza isn't wood-fired, it's one of my favorites, if not favorite in arlington.

                          1. Cafe Pizzaolo in Crystal City is good (although it's NY style, not Neapolitan like 2 Amy's and Paradiso), as is Piola, the Brazilian place in Rosslyn.

                            I second others' recommendations for Rustico (although it's in Alexandria, not Arlington), which also offers an *outstanding* beer selection and other great things on the menu, and the Italian Store (although I usually go for a sandwich there).

                            I was not impressed with Pie-tanza or Faccia Luna.

                            1. I like Piola. Pie-tanza is good, but lacks outdoor seating and real wine by the glass, if that's a consideration.

                              1. I second Cafe Pizzaolo in Crystal City! The pizza is really really good, and their delivery is very quick!

                                1. Thanks, everybody, for the suggestions. Sounds like a lot of places I need to try.

                                  I'll second the lonely note on the Italian Store, at Lee Hwy. & Spout Run Pkwy. I was first urged there by my brother's family's cultish allegiance. Not a place to dine in; it's essentially just a store with a great deli counter and a few seats at the tables on the sidewalk. But it's great for take-out. Their white pizza is terrific, and their Italian subs rock. I've also enjoyed repeat trips to Cafe Pizzaolo in south Arlington (23rd St.?): Come for the pizza, stay for the stracciatella gelato.

                                  I'm not one to frown on pizza in any form. I'll take it floppy, cracker-crisp or deep-dish (mmm, Giardelli's [Chicago]). But I'm a total sucker for a good wood-fired pie. Does wonders for the flavors.

                                  Liberty Tavern's pizza is good; had their clam-topped summer pie recently. Tasty, but the clams weren't exactly primo; a few were so waterlogged that they had turned mushy by the time they made it out to our table. Had clam juice running down to my elbows, which felt a little awkward since we were eating on the sidewalk outside the trendy joint on a Friday night. Not to be a brat, but 2 Amys has a clam-topped pie that's much more expertly assembled, and their ingredients and crust rate higher.

                                  Haven't tried any of the other suggestions yet. I checked out Bebo's site and like the look of their selection. But even their menu has a whiny note about how olive oil for bread dipping is not a true Italian custom and is only available by request, with surcharges for better oil or parmesan with additional flavorants available only by further request. Really? If it's that big a deal don't offer it. You can practically feel the head chef staring down on you sourly as if you're some heathen American Olive Garden twit. And that's just through the website. Still, I might brave the bitterness for a taste.

                                  First, though, I think I'll allow myself to be swept into Pie-Tanza. Don't mind a little bit of clamor if the pizza's good enough. Faccia Luna sounds good, too, though I forgot the directions and got lost trying to find it. That's how we ended up at Liberty.

                                  Questions:
                                  - Where is Burke for Villa Bella?
                                  - Where is Pizza Paradiso?

                                  For those who haven't tried 2 Amys, it is worth a trip sometime. At core is a large cluster of tables that's always a ruckus of families, but you can escape to a small upstairs dining area or a brick patio out back to escape the din. Great food all around. It's right by the cathedral, in a nice area for a stroll and within walking distance of the Zoo if you find yourself playing the tourist. Good date spot if you can score the more secluded seating.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Scriever

                                    Bebo brought out olive oil without asking with the bread (thereby caving in to the many whiny american diners). I have no problem with the restaurant telling people dipping bread in olive oil is not an Italian tradition. I wouldn't want people to go to Italy and say the Italian restaurants suck because they don't offer you olive oil with your bread.

                                    Pizza Paradiso is in G'town and Dupont Circle.

                                    1. re: Scriever

                                      Villa Bella's address is below. Or at least that gets you close. It's in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart, to the left as you're looking at WM.

                                      Please report back when you go, I need to go again myself. We had friends that lived nearby and went a few times with them, but they moved about 2.5 years ago.

                                      6050 Burke Commons Rd
                                      Burke, VA 22015

                                    2. Cafe Pizzaiolo is as good in my opinion.