When I think of pizza in America, I think of Chicago’s famously dense deep dish, and New York’s wide triangles of glistening cheese. They're both delicious, but they're also food-coma inducing. Which is why Neapolitan-style pizza is such a relief, and luckily, DC just got its very own pizzaïolo (Italian pizza maker) in the newly opened Brookland eatery Menomalé [http://menomale.us/], which fittingly means "thank goodness" in Italian.
The pizzaïolo's name is Ettore and he's the real deal. Having grown up and mastered his skills in Naples, Menomalé displays a certificate from the ‘Associazione Vera Pizza Napolteana’ (an official arm of the Italian government that gives special designation to select pizzerias that meet strict requirements with respect to the tradition of ‘the art of Neapolitan pizza making’). Literally, this pizza is official.
But with this high designation brings much responsibility—any old ingredients will not do, which is why Menomalé imports theirs straight from the Motherland. Even their vegan and gluten-free alternatives are international.
And so's the beer. Co-owner and self-proclaimed beer nerd Leland keeps a chalkboard filled with colorful lists of his favorites from around the world, including a Belgian Quad, a Flemish Red, and my personal favorite, a San Diego Double Stout.
- Burro D’Oliva (a selection of three regional olive oils and pizza dough bites for dipping.)
- Salsiccia Pizze (comes with sausage, mushrooms, mozzarella and tomatoes.)
- Buongustaio (wood fired sandwich with sausage, prosciutto, mozzarella and mayonnaise.)
- Rum Baba (rum soaked cake.)
2711 12th St., NE
Jennie Tai is a freelance writer and photographer living in Falls Church.