PETE’S NEW HAVEN STYLE APIZZA
JOEL MEHR, CO-OWNER of Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza
(pronounced “ah-beets,” he explains, which is a southern Italian working-class pronunciation of “pizza”), learned about New
Haven pizza from his co-owner wife, Alicia, who hails from a
town just north of the Connecticut city. ;e pies are typically
thin crust, not perfectly round, tomato sauce-y and sometimes
cheeseless. Before opening the first Pete’s Apizza in D.C. in 2008
(now closed), he talked the owner of a pizzeria close to New
Haven into letting him work there for a few weeks.
At Mehr’s light-filled, 70-seat (plus 40 outside) Friendship
Heights location, which opened in 2010, many pies are available by the slice and all are o;ered in 10-, 14- and 18-inch sizes.
;e de rigueur choice here is the New Haven, Mehr’s version
of the clam pizza invented by Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana,
which opened in New Haven in 1925. It’s a white pizza featuring shucked Rappahannock littleneck clams, lots of cheese
(pecorino Romano and “mootsa-rell,” in New Haven-speak),
garlic, oregano and extra virgin olive oil—then more olive oil
and oregano after it’s baked.
Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza, 4940 Wisconsin Ave. NW,
Washington, D.C.; 202-237-7383; petesapizza.com
COMET PING PONG
COMET PING PONG IN
D.C. is a lot of
things: an 80-seat
(plus 40 outside) pizzeria,
a place to play
space for art
concerts, and a
spot for families.
to Comet’s pizza as
American East Coast style.
It’s baked in a wood-burning oven
with dough similar to a Neapolitan-style pizza, but the tomato sauce
deserves a special mention. Alefantis continues a tradition started by Comet’s original chef and co-owner,
Carole Greenwood, when the place opened in 2006.
(Greenwood is no longer part of the business.) At the
end of every summer, Toigo Orchards in Shippensburg,
Pennsylvania, sends truckloads of end-of-season plum
tomatoes to a facility in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania,
that bottles a year’s supply of sauce that’s made according
to Greenwood’s original recipe.
As good as that sauce is, there’s none to be found
on the pizza that intrigues us the most at Comet. ;at
would be the Ca-Lamb-ity J’s, a white pizza that features
house-made cinnamon- and cumin-imbued lamb sausage, mozzarella cheese, whipped feta cheese, olive oil,
garlic, dollops of tzatziki (cucumber and yogurt dip) and
a sprinkling of pickled red onions. It’s a Greece-y pizza
we can get behind.
Comet Ping Pong, 5037 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.; 202-364-0404; cometpingpong.com
The New Haven,
a version of clam
A slice of the