Thursday, May 12, 2011

Vace Italian Deli -- Cleveland Park

Hello, neglected Pizza Blog. For this Dad, it has been too long.

For those who visit this blog once in a while, rest assured that we continue to consume pizza, although Liza is threatening to go vegan (which would mean no dairy, thus no cheese). We just haven't had time to write reviews. Raising lil' Molly is time-consuming, but we love it!

So consider this entry an opportunity to play catch-up...

Around the time of Molly's first birthday on Feb. 26, we traveled up to Northwest DC to get new infant car seats installed in both of our cars and then we visited the Politics & Prose book shop. After a tasty lunch, we brought Molly into the children's section of the book shop and she proceeded to remove every book from a shelf and make a big mess. That's my girl!

Afterwards, Liza and Molly headed home but I stopped at Sullivan's Toy Store on Wisconsin Avenue to buy some toys. Then I headed over to Vace, a popular Italian deli in Cleveland Park, to bring home some pizza.

I lived near Cleveland Park for nearly 10 years and I had heard that Vace served great pizza, but for some reason I never tried it. Along with pizza, Vace serves an assortment of Italian sandwiches, subs and pasta dishes, all for take out.

You can also buy fresh, homemade pasta to cook for yourself. There's ravioli, tortellini, cappellini, linguini, fettucine, parpadelli, and more. (This reminds me of a song: "Tortellini, tortellini/Better than fettucini/Not as good as cappellini/Tortellini, tortellini.") There's homemade sauces as well.

And there's pizza. At Vace, you can order a 16-inch or 14-inch pizza, or you can order by slice. In my estimation, there are simply not enough pizza places in D.C. where you can order by slice.

I ordered two plain slices and two slices with mushrooms. The cheese was mozzarella, of course, but you could also order your pizza with feta cheese or goat cheese.

Vace's pizza is generous with the marinara sauce and they place it on top of the cheese and the toppings. That suggests the sauce is the most important thing on this pizza. Now that's pressure!

They wrapped it up in tin foil and I headed home to Capitol Hill.

In the comfort of our living room, with Molly napping upstairs, Liza and I sat down to eat the pizza slices. We warmed it up in our oven because the slices had sat for maybe 45 minutes.

The crust was crispy enough and held everything in place. Overall, the pizza was fine. But I was a little disappointed with the sauce. It didn't stand out in terms of flavor. Sauce is key for me in terms of evaluating a pizza. And if you're placing it on top of the cheese and the toppings, then it had better stand out as exemplary.

Liza felt differently, though. She thought the sauce was very good and she was a big fan of the crust. Given her Detroit-style pizza background, Liza prefers having the marinara sauce on top of her pizza.

Liza and I don't disagree much when it comes to pizza, but on this occasion we disagreed on Vace's offerings.

Now maybe the 45-minute wait and the subsequent reheating had an impact on my evaluation. I have to take that into account. This could call for a second visit to Vace to re-evaluate their pizza (and also stock up on some homemade pasta).

For now, our ratings:

Gary: 2.5 stars
Liza: 3.5 stars
Molly: I was asleep and did not eat any pizza :-(

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