Food

Word of Mouth: Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza

From Kliman Online’s “Word of Mouth”

Last year I wrote an article for the magazine about the rise of boutique pizza in the region, and the resulting dust-ups over style and meaning.  

Pete's Apizza wasn't around then, but if it had been, I would have grouped it with such spots as Cafe Pizzaiolo and Moroni and Brother's, prole pizzerias that put a premium on good ingredients but swerve to avoid being tagged with such terms as "boutique" and "artisanal." (The latter group is big, and dominant: 2 Amys, Comet, Pizzeria Paradiso, American Flatbread).  

An order-at-the-counter operation with bare floors, communal tables and the bustling, unpretentious feel of a by-the-slice operation in midtown Manhattan, Pete's bids to create separation from the competition by serving New Haven-style pies. In New Haven, legendary pizzerias Pepe's and Sally's vie for supremacy, each turning out a slightly different take on the local pie. In general, the style consists of a thin, crispy, misshapen crust that rarely flops, minimal saucing, a tightly-knit integration of cheese and toppings, and—the finishing touch—a generous application of olive oil.  

An array of by-the-slice options await on the counter, but you can also order a whole pie, like the gigantic clam pizza. The last good clam pizza I ate was at Lombardi's in New York, and this one is better—crispier, zestier (although the ratio of garlic to clam ought to be reversed). A calzone-shaped pizza called Sorbillo's Original—filled with salumi, ricotta and mozzarella—is just as good. Pete's doesn't champion its sourcing, but I was taken with a remarkably fresh-tasting antipasti platter, topped with smoky curls of grilled carrot, a white bean-and-shrimp salad, and cubed beets with goat cheese (a small salad of quinoa and broccoli rabe was dull).  

A good selection of beers and wines, plus a complement of gelati from Dolcezza, only deepens the appeal. Pete's is a keeper.

-June 10, 2008 

Get Our “Brunches This Weekend” Newsletter

The best breakfasts and brunches to try every weekend, plus our most popular food stories of the week.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.
SIGN UP
We engage readers directly in their mailboxes with topics like Health, Things to Do, Best Brunches, Design & Shopping, and Real Estate. Get the latest from our editors today.
Get The Best Of Washingtonian In Your Inbox!