There are so many new places opening up in D.C. it’s easy to forget about the old gems. I recently stopped by Ella’s Pizza in Gallery Place and was pleasantly surprised to discover a new, refreshed dinner menu with several seasonal dishes. Don’t worry they still have their awesome pizzas too.
The appetizer section is the most changed. New items include crunchy, melted mozzarella-filled risotto balls served with a smoky tomato dipping sauce, butternut squash risotto that is almost liquid with its delightful creaminess, and eggplant parmesan topped with pesto and melted cheese. Look out for seasonal soups as well; right now they are featuring a white bean soup.
Salads showcase the best of the seasons produce; try the beet and orange salad with peppery arugula tossed with roasted beets and fresh orange. Pinenuts add some crunch, while goat cheese brings a creaminess and a tang to the dish. Pair that salad with an appetizer and a glass of wine and you already have a great meal.
But of course, you should not miss out on their famous wood-fired pizzas. I have always loved their creative choices: melanzane, a great roasted eggplant-bell pepper-goat cheese concoction, the lombardi, with bright gorgonzola, rosemary and caramelized onions, and the verdura with sun-dried tomato pesto artichokes, olives, and parmesan. But this time I went with the bosco, a pizza topped with sweet sun-dried tomatoes, smoked mozzarella, meaty wild mushrooms, red onions and thyme. It was the perfect hearty, earthy pizza for a cold winter night.
Also new and surprisingly good was their desserts. Classic Italian tiramisu is light and airy, and their italian cheesecake is decadent, and different with a hint of almond. Be sure to sample some of their housemade limoncello with dessert. Ella’s is great for a casual pizza-and-beer kind of night with friends.