Pupatella Neopolitan Pizzeria and Friggitoria
Pizzaholic DC on January 7th, 2012
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On the recommendations of a friend and a few best pizza lists, My wife and I checked out Pupatella in Arlington, VA. Just outside DC, this authentic VPN (Verace Pizza Napoleta) and DOC certified casual restaurant has been said to pop out some of the best pies in town! With humble beginnings as a pizza cart at a nearby metro station, Pupatella had made a lot of fans before its doors even opened in mid 2010.
Going in I wasn’t sure what a Friggitoria was, but I now assume it’s because this food is “friggin” amazing. This oak wood fired pizzeria has an oven made from the ashes of Mt Vesuvius. At 1000 degrees, five pies at a time are cooked for one minute each until they reach a perfect char on each pliable delicious crust. Ingredients are first rate with their heirloom San Marzano tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella imported from Naples. I must admit that I almost didn’t even have enough space to order some pies after filling my stomach with their amazing Arancini from their Friggitoria menu. These fried risotto balls are stuffed with sausage or eggplant and absolutely blew away the “supply y telephono” risotto balls I’ve had at other great restaurants in the area. Nonetheless, I had to try the pies and ordered a red and a white.
These 12 inch pizzas had the best crusts I’ve found in DC. They were perfectly charred yet bendable without spilling. The DOC and VPN certified Margherita pizza had delicious tomatoes and cheese and was topped with basil. Unlike other top area pizzerias, the basil seemed to be cooked onto the pie rather than added after it came out of the oven which took a tiny bit of kick from it. This is the only thing that keeps me from putting this in the same class with the areas 4 best Neopolitan pie sauces, Seventh Hill, 2 Amys, Pizza CS, and Mia’s. It was darned close though! The incredible crust, however, was better than any of these places. The white Spinach pizza was covered in an Italian cream, pine nuts, feta, and red pepper. It was fresh and tasty but not quite as good as the tomato sauce based pie in my opinion.
Pupatella is a casual dining experience. Each diner grabs their own utensils, picks their own table, orders at a counter, drinks from a bottled soda, beer, or wine, and clears their own table. No reservations are accepted so expect a wait if you come during peak hours. Believe me though, it’s worth the wait!