After romping around Brookland in my last blog post it was necessary to grab some nourishment before heading back downtown. After a 15 minute walk from The Basilica we found ourselves at Menomale Pizza Napoletana. The pizza joint boasts imported olive oil, tomatoes and cheese from Italy as well as a hand built 6000 pound oven that cooks the pizza at 900 degrees. While the restaurant sought an authentic experience it was not as “in your face” as other restaurants that try to press foreign flair and gusto on the customer. The ambiance was laid back and warm, which is probably how pizza is actually enjoyed in Naples. The covered outdoor seating provided a nice break from the sweltering July heat and the indoor seating was simple with bare wood floors and metal tables.
Before we can get to the pizza, we must first cover the drink list. Aside from their various iterations on fresh dough, Menomale also offers a first rate selection of beers that range from fresh new IPAs on tap to authentic German beers that are over a hundred years. The selection of imported beers was a great compliment to the story behind the pizza. To cool off I enjoyed a refreshing cider from Sonoma Cider. The Pitchfork is described perfectly on the Sonoma Website, which as a sidetone is an example of good web design. The really summed up why the hybrid pear and apple cider was crisp and delicious.
To accompany my pizza I went with a traditional German beer. The beer from Franziskaner was an enormous wheat beer that paired very well with the light pizza. the glass it was served in was as big as my entire torso, just look at it.
Now, to the pizza. My friend and I decided to try the Brooklandissima. The veggie pizza had roasted zucchini, eggplant and peppers, as well as, artichokes, gorgonzola, fior di latte mozzarella, garlic, and basil. The crust had this beautiful buoyancy derived from the fluffy dough and the slight charcoal from the oven (see crust above). The pizza could have had more vegetables but the roasted produce paired great with the two cheeses. For our second dish we decided to try a panvozzo, a wood-fired sandwich made with pizza dough. I had never seen this item before and was intrigued by the calzone/snadwich hybrid. We opted for the Barchetta with smoked salmon, mozzarella , arugula, tomatoes, and grated grana padano. The barchetta was definitely the star of the evening. The fluffy dough let the smoked salmon truly shine and the other ingredients were a fresh and vibrant compliment.
When you head to Brookland (because I know I have convinced you) definitely check out Menomale. It is so hard to find good pizza, specifically crust outside of New York but Menomale does a very fine job.