Food

An Early Look at Haven Pizzeria Napoletana (Pictures)

A New Haven native brings his city’s signature pies to Bethesda.

A white clam pie is on the menu at Haven Pizzeria Napoletana, where part-owner Mark Bergami also serves up housemade gelato. Photographs by Erik Uecke.

Washington has its fair share of traditional Neapolitan pizzerias, but chef Mark Bergami is looking to introduce a lesser-known variety at the newly opened Haven Pizzeria: thin, crispy, New Haven–style pies, to channel the ones he grew up eating at legendary joints like Pepe’s and Sally’s.

Like Bergami’s hometown inspirations, the menu features classics such as a tomato pie spread with a simple, tangy layer of fresh sauce—add slices of Connecticut-made Calabro mozzarella if you’re feeling fancy—or a garlicky white pie sprinkled with freshly shucked clams. The oven is the most elaborate part of the process: The coal-fired beast has a capacity for 100 ten-inch pies, and pizza makers retrieve the blistered rounds using 12-foot “peels”—giant wooden spatulas.

The unfussy decor in the 155-seat space recalls a tavern, with its chalkboard menus, Peroni on draft, and oak floors repurposed from the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Kentucky. But it’s family friendly, too, with deep booths large enough for ten people, and house-made gelato that’s available to go by the quart for those lazy-night takeout orders.

Haven Pizzeria. 7137 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda; 301-664-9412. Open Monday through Sunday 11 AM to 10 PM.

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.