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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The Dish: DC’s Top Dog

New York has Coney Island dogs, Hawaii is the home of puka dogs, and the Windy City is famous for Chicago dogs. The District has its own specialty sausage: the half-smoke. For more than half a century, these kielbasa-sized wieners have been D.C.’s favorite street food.

Like many regional favorites, there is a long-standing debate over what constitutes a classic half-smoke, but there are some generally agreed upon elements.

First of all, there should be a snap when you bite through the casing. The meat mixture inside is oftentimes half pork and half beef, possessing both slightly spicy and smoky notes. Either grilled whole or split down the middle, these quarter pounders are then popped into fresh steamed or griddled buns. Toppings vary, but almost always include chili with some spots adding a combination of shredded cheddar, a squirt of mustard, freshly diced onions and relish.

Finish reading this story on the Endless DC site now.

Photo of Firefly’s half-smoke topped with bacon chili and pickled ramp mustard courtesy of Firefly.

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A Lazy Sunday: Italian eateries invite diners to gather around a fuss-free family feast

Sunday is a day of rest in many countries, but not in Italy. That’s when families gather in the kitchen to prepare epic dinners that bring generations together. For those who crave a feast — but not the intense provisioning, cooking and cleaning necessary to create such large meals — a host of local Italian restaurants salute the Sunday mealtime tradition with special menus that highlight Roma classics. And it’s even more fun when you bring your friends and family. “People can be loud and pass food around,” says Carmine’s chef Terry Natas. “The idea is to relax and enjoy yourself.”

PS 7

Chef-owner Peter Smith recently got his hands on a cookbook handwritten by his great-grandmother. “She was Italian, but my grandmother [her daughter-in-law] was German,” he says. “This was her saying, ‘You’re marrying into this family, so this is what you need to know how to cook.’” These recipes are the foundation for the restaurant’s Sunday-styled dinners that happen every other Thursday. (The next one is Feb. 23.) Dishes include creamy linguini carbonara dotted with chunks of pancetta ($12.50) and deep-fried arancini rice balls filled with a melted mélange of mozzarella and ricotta dotted with micro slivers of salami ($6.50).

PS 7, 777 I St. NW; 202-742-8550. (Gallery Place)

Finish reading this story on the Express website now.

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PS 7′s Chef de Cuisine Andrew Markert Shares His Ink

“Die and Get the F*ck Out of the Way,” “Polished Turd,” and “Hat Full of Sh*t (For Cletus)” are just a few of the charming little ditties you’ll find on Agoraphobic Nosebleed’s 1998 debut Honky Reduction. The grindcore extremists are all about the shock value, which is why the album’s cover features a Stepford wife in a butcher’s apron with a cleaver in one hand and freshly carved steak in the other. This was the inspiration for the giant pro-carnivore tattoo running down the ribcage of PS 7′s chef de cuisine Andrew Markert, despite the fact that he has never heard a single Agoraphobic Nosebleed song. “It’s heavy, heavy death metal,” he says. “Not really my genre.”

Finish reading this story and see the rest of the pics on the Eater DC site now.

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Summer Steals: Dining Deals Set to Expire

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While stores are busy pushing notebooks and Halloween candy, local restaurants haven’t forgotten that August is still summer. Some of the District’s coolest eateries have ongoing seasonal specials: chilling cocktails, summery salads and decadent desserts. But you’d better act quickly, because these deals — like that bag of trick-or-treat candy you buy in September — will be gone too soon.

1789
1226 36th St. NW; 202-965-1789, 1789restaurant.com. (Foggy Bottom)
Georgetown isn’t renowned as a bargain destination, but 1789 might change that reputation with its summer dinner deal. For $40, guests get an ever-changing three-course menu, which might include entrees such as black grouper with smoked Manila clams and desserts such as cherry pie, above. Fine Print: Available Sundays through Thursdays. Download a coupon from 1789′s website or just mention the deal to your server. Expires Sept. 15.

Find out all the summer steals by reading the full story on the Express website now.

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Go Eat An Egg: The Easter Bunny Has Landed in Washington

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While the kids are foraging for plastic, candy-filled eggs on Easter, adults can enjoy the real deal. All over town, the elliptical edibles are breaking out of their shells to star in atypical dishes such as pizzas and burgers. “Eggs are versatile, and you can use them a million different ways,” says PS 7′s chef and owner, Peter Smith. “They are a perfect food.” So, forget run-of-the-mill frittatas from the brunch buffet on Easter. These creative dishes will have you clucking your approval.

Carmine’s
Head over to this Italian eatery to score a hard-boiled egg without having to take out a kid or two. It’s customary in the old country to serve a sweet, brioche-like round bread at dinner known as pane di pasquai (Easter bread). This symbolic circle of dough has a hard-boiled egg baked into its center and a cross of dough laid over the egg to represent life and faith. “We want to help keep traditions alive,” says chef Terry Natas. “It’s all about teaching the next generation about what Italians have been eating for hundreds of years.” Speckled with colorful sprinkles, Natas’ loaf is complimentary for anyone dining at Carmine’s on Easter Sunday — but it’s available only that day, so reservations are recommended.

» 425 7th St. NW; 202-737-7770.

Read about my other…wait for it…egg-cellent picks over on the Express website now.

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