Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar - Capitol Hill

Last night Gary and I had our first pre-wedding class at St. Peter's-- we had a book group with other couples talking about readings on the 8th, 9th, and 10th Commandments. So after all that deep thinking, we figured we should discuss the topics some more over a little wine and pizza, so we went a few blocks away to one of our favorite Capitol Hill restaurants, Sonoma (at 2nd and Pennsylvania, SE). Since the 8th Commandment says I shouldn't lie, well, this blog will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

One of the reasons I love Sonoma is that not only do they have a huge wine list, but they also have a 3 ounce pour called a "taste" in addition to the standard "glass", so you can get a really nice wine at a reasonable price. It can be a challenge to get a table on the weekends, but on 9:30 on a Monday night, there were lots of open tables. We had a nice spot outside on Pennsylvania Avenue.

We split a mendocino salad and a red pizza with mozzarella and wild mushrooms. We agreed that the thing we love about Sonoma pizza is the sauce. The red sauce is sweet but has a little bit of a spicy bite to it. Delish. The wild mushrooms are so flavorful and the crust has a nice crunch. My only quibble with Sonoma pizza is that the crust gets a soft in the middle, making their pizza kinda "floppy". But still, a damn fine pie.

Gary's rating: 3.5 stars

Liza's rating: 3 stars

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Ella's Woodfired Pizza -- Chinatown

The great thing about Ella's is they have good pizza FAST. We got there after 7 PM last night (Friday), and were able to make our 7:50 movie a few blocks away at E Street Cinemas. (We saw Across the Universe-- Liza gave it a big thumbs down, Gary thought it was merely okay. Says Liza: "If you're going make a movie with Beatles songs, RESPECT THE MUSIC" -- but this is all fodder for another blog.)

As is our custom, we split a mixed green salad (which was better than 2 Ames, BTW) and we each got a pizza. Liza had the traditional margherita (tomato sauce, mozzerella, and basil) and Gary got the wild mushroom pizza with goat cheese and spinach.

All in all, this pizza was good eatin'. The margherita had a nice combination of light sauce, cheese (although an authentic margherita pizza uses buffalo mozz, I'm just sayin'), and olive oil. The crust was crispy but didn't have the chewiness you expect from a woodfired 'za.

Gary describes his pizza as "run of the mill"-- good to "scarf down" but not rich in flavor. The ingredients lacked the smoky goodness of the veggies on the pizza we got at 2 Amys.

Ella's is a nice pizza, but not among DC's elite.

Gary's rating: 2.5 stars

Liza's rating: 2.5 stars

2 Amys -- Cathedral Heights

2 Amys, 3715 Macomb Street NW, is one of our favorite pizza places in DC. It seems like it's everyone else's, too. In fact, we're going to make our first million by opening an ice cream stand right outside of 2 Amy's, so we'll have a built-in customer base of people sitting outside on the steps waiting an hour for a table on any given weeknight. Since we're usually starving by the time we get there, we typically end up across the street at Sushi Sushi rather than waiting for a table. But, on Saturday, September 15, after a long morning of car shopping, we ended up there for a late lunch. In a word-- yummmm. We decided to forgo the delicious fried risotto balls and split a mixed green salad and a pizza. Although the pizzeria is known for its authentic Neopolitan style margharita pizza, on this day we opted for one of the day's specials-- roasted eggplant, peppers, garlic and smoked mozzarella.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Heavenly! (The pizzeria is, of course, only a stone's throw from the National Cathedral. Coincidence? We think not.) The best thing about the pizza at "2 Ames", as Gary calls it, is the crust, which manages to be crispy, smoky, and chewy all at the same time. This is the gold standard of DC pizza!

Gary's grade: 4 stars
Liza's grade: 3.5 stars

Pizza Lovers Unite!

Hello and welcome to our pizza blog!

Pizza has been a passion of mine since I was just a kid growing up in Fraser, Michigan. I used to make my Mom take me to Carmen's, our local pizzeria, to get their famous (well, famous to me) $1 deep dish slice. Yummy!

These days, Carmen's is "Pizza Castle" and is half pizza place, half dollar store. Gotta love the 'burbs. But this hasn't diminished my love of pizza in the least.

While deep dish is still my favorite, I've come to appreciate the authentic Italian thin crust pizzas, too. These days I drag my very patient fiance, Gary, around DC searching for the best pizza in the city.

Gary is a pizza fan who grew up in Philly-- South Jersey, to be exact. Growing up, his favorite pizza spots were Three Brothers in Hammonton, NJ and Mack 'n' Manco in Ocean City, NJ. This past summer, he took me to another favorite, Angelo's, in Ocean City, where I got run over by an old lady in a motorized scooter/wheelchair contraption. So, I'm not feeling a lot of love toward Angelo's, although the staff got me some ice, which was nice.

Anyway, feel free to comment and chime in with your favorites! Is there a pizza place you want to see reviewed here? Let us know.

Happy pizza-ing and enjoy the blog!