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best pizza that's not Two Amys

Besides Two Amys, what's the scoop on DC pizza? I'm most interested in neapolitan style...Pizzeria Paradiso is fine, but not quite what I seek. Any wood-fired ovens hiding in otherwise non-pizza joints? TIA.

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Two Amys
3715 Macomb St NW, Washington, DC 20016

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  1. There are four that have popped up in Arlington recently. Pupatella, Pizzeria Orso and Fireworks as well as Rustico now in Ballston. Seems to be quite the trend. I am not a fan of this style of pizza apparently, but the first two listed are quite in with the CH/reviewer crowd.

    6 Replies
    1. re: sekelmaan

      I'm a fan of Fireworks in Arlington (on Clarendon Blvd, very close to the Courthouse metro). I love their "sopranos" pizza- with sausage, big chunks of mushrooms and onions, and a little truffle oil (I wouldn't recommend it if you don't care for truffle oil, it's subtle, but it's there). I've also liked their grilled cheese- great bread, made with three cheeses and served with some sort of tomato marmalade). It's a great place, surprised I haven't seen more of it on chowhound- the people are really friendly too.

      1. re: mjhals

        Fireworks is my favorite of the bunch as well. I don't think that the pizza is as "Neapolitan" perhaps as some of the others, but the crust is better and it holds up. I hate the soggy crust places.

        1. re: sekelmaan

          our pizza at orso could've won a "flop"-"sog" contest. just pathetic! the liquid was pooling for goodness sake (i was looking for tadpoles). that crust (other than the outside edge) was like a piece of paper that got wet in the rain.

          tasty ingredients, technique in great need of improvement.

            1. re: alkapal

              That's unfortunate. Looks like it was an off night. When were these taken? And was Edan manning the oven?

              I've been there three times -- twice when Edan was working -- and had a total of 6 pizzas and none of them resembled these pictures. They were all perfectally cooked with a good amount of char.

              I'd say you should go back and try it again, but as I posted below, he has now left Orso.

              1. re: Guy Incognito

                photos were taken on february 10, 2011.

    2. I'm a fan of Rustico (Arlington) and Matchbox (DC). Both have yummy pizza baked in wood fired ovens.

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      Rustico
      827 Slaters Lane, Alexandria, VA 22314

      1. Places that are not primarily pizzerias rarely take the time to make a great dough. So if you are looking for something special I would avoid those. The only serious place for neapolitan very close to a metro stop is 7th Hill in DC. I haven't been yet.

        Pupatella in Arlington, VA and Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church, VA are bot excellent, although I prefer Pupatella. You'll probably need wheels for both.

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        Pupatella
        5104 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203

        1 Reply
        1. re: Steve

          Seventh Hill is just so-so in my books. Matchbox has a better pizza, neapolitan or not. Take it from someone who has been there. However, I do like 7H for their non-pizza items.

        2. Oro in Rockville Town Center can be good. Matchbox is more ordinary, but good.

          1. Well, it's neither neapolitan nor (to my knowledge) the product of a wood-fired oven, but Vace's pizza is superb.

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            Vace
            3315 Connecticut Avenue NW, DC 20008

            5 Replies
            1. re: marcj

              Vace for sure. I like a crispy, well-done (not burnt) pie. Lost Dog in Westover usually gets it right, as does Al Forno in Frederick if you don't order larger than a medium. Vace makes a perfect large pie every time. One thing I cannot abide is a soupy, undercooked pizza.

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              Lost Dog Cafe
              Arlington , VA, Arlington, VA

              1. re: flavrmeistr

                flav, what do you think about the Italian Store's pizza? If you like a crispy crust, it's for you -- great car pizza because you can hold a slice by the crust while driving and it won't flop over.

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                Italian Store
                3123 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22201

                1. re: Bob W

                  It's pretty good if you catch it right out of the oven, but the half-life is fairly short. It becomes a wizened, greasy shingle after 15 minutes in the hot box. Mostly, I'm there for the subs.

                  1. re: Bob W

                    italian store pizza does not have a crispy crust.

                  2. re: flavrmeistr

                    Yeah, I hate that soupy stuff. I used to be a huge 2 Amy's fan, but the last couple of times I've been my pizza has been served more liquid than solid. At this point, I might prefer Comet Ping-Pong; the upside is not as high as at 2 Amy's, but I feel like there's a baseline of performance that's much better. Also, the Yalie is delicious.