Category Archives: Washington DC

Geppetto Restaurant Pizza Bethesda, MD

When most people have a “deep thought”, they’re usually pondering the mysteries of the universe.  When I have a “deep thought”, it’s more likely to be about which “deep” dish pizza is the best in the universe.  (Or at least locally since I’m too poor to fly to Chicago for dinner).

Since 1977 one of the best thick crusted pizzas in the DC area has been found at Geppetto Restaurant at the Wildwood Shopping Center in Bethesda, MD.  Named after Pinocchio’s maker, you’ll find puppet references at the entrance next to a picture of President Clinton eating one of their pies.  It’s hard to believe they’ve been pumping out these tasty Sicilian pies since the days when I learned to spell “p.i.z.z.a.” while singing the letters along with Sesame Street.


Pupatella Neopolitan Pizzeria and Friggitoria

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!

Pete’s Apizza Washington DC

A few years ago, Washington DC finally got its first good “New Haven” style pizzeria.  Knowing that no less than Frank Sinatra used to have a “New Haven” style pie delivered when he was in nearby New York City made me very excited to see what this Connecticut inspired pizza was all about.  With three locations (Friendship Heights (DC near MD), Clarendon (VA), and Columbia Heights (DC) this popular local destination was a must try!

Pete’s Apizza prides itself on a casual dining experience with excellent healthy pies and good pastas and desserts to promise myself to try “next time”.  With pies this good, I may never get around to trying anything else on the menu.  The aroma of pizza sauce is overwhelming as you walk through the doors.


Fiorella Pizzeria E Caffe Washington DC

Recently, buzz has been building for “Fiorella Pizzeria E Caffe” at beautiful National Harbor near Washington, DC so I decided to check it out.  Word was that the service was lousy but that the trendy décor and pizza would make me forgive their lapses.  I found myself agreeing with the comments about lazy waiters but found the food to be average for an above average price.

As you walk through the front door you can’t help but see an odd statue of an overweight naked greek guy with a leaf covering his (cough) belt buckle.  We were quickly seated at what can best be described as a tall night stand with drawers on each side and placemats drawn onto the top of it for each diner.



RedRocks Pizza, Old Town Alexandria, VA

If you’re looking for a 93.3% chance of getting one of the best pizzas in the DC area without waiting in that long line at 2 Amys, then RedRocks is the perfect place to go!  Rumor has it that a few days a month their regular chefs actually take time off to be with their families (The nerve of them!) and leave mere mortals in charge of making their delicious pizzas.   Luckily, during my 2 visits to their location in Old Town Alexandria, I was blown away by the quality of their pies.

You can usually spot a great pizza place by taking a peak in their windows.  If the place is full and they don’t automatically provide cheese, oregano, or hot peppers on the tables, they are probably confident that their pizza flavoring is good enough to stand on its own.  This method of spotting authentic Italian food is much better than my second method of counting the # of vowels in the name of the restaurant.  RedRocks is one of these great Naples inspired restaurants despite only having 2 vowels. 

With wood floors, marble tops, and high ceilings, RedRocks is trendy with a phenomenal pizza aroma floating through its high backed booths.  The list of pizzas available range from traditional margheritas to fancy sounding daily pies made with their homemade sausage, meats cured in house, and locally grown produce.  There is a decent sounding list of appetizers and salads but the personal sized pizzas (no slices) are why you come to RedRocks.  On my two visits, the crusts were picture perfect with delicately placed basil, buffalo mozzarella, and toppings complimenting their delicious tomato sauce.  Pictured is a daily special Mushroom pie that had a slight barbeque flavor but I enjoyed the traditional Margherita pies more.  Friends have told me that a few days a month the crust can be soggy, but on my two visits, it was top notch with great service and no wait. 

 I give RedRocks 7 of 8 slices.

District of Pi, Washington DC

Until recently, there has been a huge hole in the Washington DC pizza scene when it comes to deep dish pizza. Frustrated local foodies might advise you to go anywhere from Unos (The originator of Chicago style deep dish) to Albertos, to Armand’s to (cough) Pizza hut. I’m proud to say that a consensus is finally here! District of Pi is now serving up amazing deep dish pies topped with some of the cities tastiest tomatoes in Penn Quarter!

The hype for District of Pi began shortly after Obama came into office. Many hoped that a good deep dish would follow him from Chicago to DC but no one could have expected him to announce his favorite deep dish as being from St Louis, MO. Shortly after he flew Pi’s chefs to DC, word spread and “The Pi Truck” was born.


Two Amys Neopolitan Pizza Washington DC

On a recent trip to Washington DC, knowing my passion for pizza my friend said we had to try this new place.  “It was great.”  Now let me get something straight.  I HATE hearing this.  It never is.  I didn’t come to DC for pizza.  And my friend hadn’t even been there herself, so whose recommendation was this?  But I had no choice.  I was not a happy camper.