At BYT, we believe there can never be too many pizzerias in one city. In less than a year, D.C. has seen the opening of four new pizza-focused restaurants. Here is our take on all four.
For the Pizza Connoisseur: Stellina Pizza
Although Stellina has been open for less than three months, it has become a wildly popular spot in the Union Market District, selling hundreds of their Neo-Neapolitan pizzas daily. Why makes it so popular? The venue is cute and fresh and the pastas are delicious, but it’s the pizza sales that tell you why everyone is flocking to this new spot. The pizza dough is light and airy, and the toppings are interesting, varied and always involve loads of cheese. Their claim to fame pizza is the cacio e pepe, a twist on the famous Roman cacio e pepe pasta. The fluffy dough is smothered with three different kinds of cheese, cacio di roma, mozzarella, and pecorino and then doused with a healthy dusting of pepper. It is the ultimate in decadence. I also loved their classic margherita, with a gorgeous tomato sauce and pillows of fresh mozzarella. Pies range from $13-16.
For the Hungry Squad: Sonny’s Pizza
This Georgia Ave. pizza parlour comes with an adjacent pizza garden, which definitely makes it one of the most fun pizzerias to open in recent months. The pizza itself also happens to be delicious. Sicilian style, which means it is square, this pizza is made with a crunchy, yeasty dough and then blanketed with melted cheese and toppings like fresh basil that is grown in the pizza garden. Pizza is available by the slice, or by the pie, and while a pie will set you back $28, it is big enough to be shared by three people. Each slice is so big and filling you really only need 2-3 to be stuffed. If you can’t find me this summer, I’ll be at the pizza garden. Dogs, rosé, and damn good pizza. What else do you need in life?
For the Pizza Purist: Little Beast
Little Beast has been open longer than the other venues on this list, but with less than a year under its belt, it’s still a newbie in the DC area. While their brunch and dinner menus have items like soups, salads, and sandwiches, the highlight of their menu is (surprise) the pizza. Cooked in a wood-fired oven, these doughy pizzas come In classic versions: margharita, pepperoni and veggie with spinach and mushrooms. While not life changing, these pizzas are a solid option if you want a simple but tasty pie. Pizza prices range from $13-17.
For the Non-Picky Pizza Enthusiast: Nicoletta Italian Kitchen
Of all the new pizza spots in town, Nicoletta is the newest. Like the other venues, it’s menu includes appetizers and entrées such as pasta, but the focus of the menu is on pizza. The dough of the pizza, apparently fermented for three days, is heavy and dense, and the toppings are similarly over the top. One option comes with fried eggplant, two different kinds of cheese and tomatoes. The ricotta mutes the fresh flavor of the tomatoes, and the fried element plus copious amount of cheese, overwhelms the dish. Similarly, the mushroom pizza with marsala and mushrooms and two different kinds of cheese lacked in diversity of flavor and again came across as too heavy. Be prepared for a heavier version of the light Neapolitan pizzas most places are serving these days. Each pizza costs between $16-21 and can easily feed two people.