5104 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22205
CUISINE Italian, Pizza
PRICE Under $12
HOURS Open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.
NVM AWARDS Best New Restaurant 2011
NEARBY METRO None
By Warren Rojas
From its graffiti mural to its bus-your-own-table mentality, this scrappy pie-slinger screams DIY success story.
Rather than scouting street corners, food cart vets Enzo Alargame and Anastaysia Laufenberg now spend their days parked in front of the imported brick oven— “Built in Naples from volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius,” the pair trumpets—at the heart of their brick-and-mortar shop.
The menu features just over a dozen specialty pies including dueling margheritas—“real” (read: buffalo mozzarella) vs. “simple”—appetizers (fried Brussels sprouts flanked by green apple, anchovy-olive bites) and desserts (tiramisu, Nutella-swabbed pizzas).
The real margherita is floppier than expected; the crust crackles in spots, but folds as a rule. The real stars are the San Marzano tomato-based sauce, delivering acid and tang, and ovals of glistening mozzarella pooled on every slice. The sauce-less filleti is charred but still spongy, its “naked” dough adorned by fragrant basil, piquant garlic and sweet cherry tomatoes.
Algarme loads specialty dough with milky ricotta, shredded mozzarella and thinly shaved prosciutto, and gingerly lowers it into the deep fryer. The ensuing feast—crunchy shell, molten cheese, sultry ham—is reason alone to consider investing in a FryDaddy.
Sadly, homemade donuts remain MIA since the move.