The Ten: Best Doughnuts

So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

This time around we’re tackling Home Simpson’s favorite food that’s not beer: doughnuts.

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

I have seen the future of doughnuts and its name is Astro. Former Fiola pastry chef Jason Gehring has reinvented the jelly doughnut by turning it into a square with a hole at the center. He pipes the filling into the four struts, thereby maximizing the jelly to dough ratio. Genius! His tropical take on the sweet includes a tangy passion fruit glaze and a just-tart-enough lemon curd. The shop doesn’t open until early next year, but Astro is catering events this holiday season.

Lyon Hall

Doughnuts are a must-order when you brunch at this corner favorite in Arlington. The flavors rotate, so you might get the sweet heat of an Asian five-spice, coffee-spiked mocha, or a straight-up vanilla glazed. You also get a free doughnut hole with if you order the platter of four. Winning!

Pizzeria Orso

You probably don’t expect doughnuts at a pizzeria, but executive chef Will Artley is a master of the sweet treats. Order the lemon glazed crowned with a spiral of rich Nutella cream. After you’ve stopped softly sobbing with joy and licked your fingers, you can drop us a thank you email.

Jackie’s

The sterling brunch at this Silver Spring standard-bearer is made even better by a plate of pastry chef Carolyn Crow’s doughnuts. Choose between chocolate, raspberry and dulce de leche – or go on a binge and get all three.

Krispy Kreme

When the Hot Now sign lights up, it triggers an irresistible Pavlovian urge for freshly fried glazed doughnuts. It doesn’t matter that Krispy Kreme is a global chain, they still make a damn fine doughnut that deserves your utmost respect.

Find out the rest of the top ten at CityEats’ Plate blog now.

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The Ten: Best Pizzerias

So many choices, so little time. The Ten is your guide to the best of the best that D.C. has to offer.

This installment takes a look at the primo pie palaces around. Almost everyone has a strong opinion on their favorite slice, so we’re pretty sure that this list will ignite a fiery debate in the comments section over who was and wasn’t included.

2 Amys

This Cathedral Heights institution has been setting the bar for over a decade with its D.O.C. certified Neapolitans that are worth the wait.

Pupatella

Pizzaiolo Enzo Algarme turns out a steady stream of top-notch rounds that make a trip to Arlington feel like transatlantic journey to Naples.

Pizzeria Orso

A longtime favorite with Falls Church diners, this pizzeria continues to flourish under the steady hand of executive chef Will Artley who also turns out designer doughnuts for the weekend brunch.    

Graffiato

The wood fired zas at this Chinatown hot spot boast big personalities, just like chef-owner Mike Isabella. For a decadent breakfast for dinner, order the Countryman slathered with black truffle paste, dotted with pools of Fontina, and topped with a golden over-easy egg.

Pacci’s

This friendly Neapolitan outpost in Silver Spring offers up a straightforward menu of lovingly crafted pizzas, including one dessert pie that’s sauced with Nutella and topped with strawberry slices.

Find out the rest of the top ten by clicking over to CityEats’ Plate blog now.

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Pizzeria Orso Executive Chef Will Artley Shares His Ink

Pizzeria Orso executive chef Will Artley wasn’t always on the right track. As a teen, he was kicked out of high school in upstate New York, which was a huge blow to his parents. “That was the first time I let them down,” admits Artley. “I told them, ‘I promise you that I’m going to do something with my life. I’m just taking a different path.’”

Starting at age 15, he started gravitating toward kitchen work, picking up any kind of gig he could score. There was one stint at Misty Meadows Pig Farm, which also had a restaurant. “So you’d get to see the pigs and then eat them,” he explains.

Finish reading this story on Eater DC now.

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Reach For the Pie: To Heck With Chicago, Neapolitan Wins the Day

Paccis Pizza

Since the early 18th century, Neapolitan pizzaiolos (pizza chefs) have been making pies the exact same way. They use just four ingredients for the crust — flour, water, sea salt and yeast — which must be handled delicately so that it remains light and chewy after it’s baked in a wood-fired oven. The restaurateurs who continue this tradition today strive to achieve a coveted DOC (Denominazione d’ Origine Controllata) certification, which means that the ingredients, procedures and equipment all meet rigorous standards — of the eateries showcased here, only Pupatella has earned this certification. The classic Neapolitan pizza contains simple toppings — tomato sauce, basil, buffalo mozzarella and olive oil — but imaginative chefs gussy up their creations. “It’s a simple concept: good ingredients on top of bread,” says Pizzeria Orso’s executive chef, Chris Nye. “It’s really approachable, no matter what you grew up eating.”

Pizzeria Orso
Next to this Falls Church spot’s wood-fired oven, there’s a giant mural of a brown bear devouring a pizza while Mount Vesuvius explodes in the background. It’s an arresting installation, but patrons are distracted by the fresh pizzas that executive chef Chris Nye turns out in quick succession. The eye-catching Capricciosa, above, includes the basics — tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella — and artichokes, crimini mushrooms, ham and olives. “You have to honor the tradition of Neapolitan pizza, while simultaneously advancing the style of it,” Nye says. “Have fun with it.”

» 400 S. Maple Ave., Falls Church; 703-226-3460.

Read about my other three picks over on the Express website now.

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