5 Things to Expect at H &Pizza (Pictures)

A new pizzeria opens with thin-crust pies, late-night hours, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.
The Jenny at H &Pizza, named for the object of Forrest Gump’s affections. Photographs by Jeff Elkins.
The Jenny at H &Pizza, named for the object of Forrest Gump’s affections. Photographs by Jeff Elkins.

Terms like “fast-casual” and “customizable” recall bigtime corporate chains such as Chipotle, but a growing number of local, independent businesses are owning the concept (think Oh Fish! and Cava Grill). Now we welcome the newest addition: H &Pizza, dishing up personalized pies in the Atlas District since Friday. Here are five things to look for at the modish parlor.

H &Pizza’s modern interior.

1) A slice of history

Co-owners Steve Salis and Michael Lastoria channel an old-school pizza parlor with red, white, and black tones, but the overall feel is modern. Painted brick walls, exposed pipes, and long, bench-like communal tables fill the 36-seat space. Black-and-white photographs line the walls, but instead of the owner’s family back in Italy, you’ll find evolving images of the neighborhood between 1910 and the ’70s.

2) Nontraditional pies

“We
just want to make great pizza fast,” says Salis. Wary of conforming to
any one category like Neapolitan or New York, the guys have designed
their own “& pizza” style: thin-crust, elongated ovals perfect for
one (you can design each half with different toppings, which is way
better than sharing). Individual elements are also unusual for a
counter-order pizza spot. You can customize pies with traditional,
whole-wheat, or multigrain crusts, have them brushed with red chickpea
or mushroom-truffle spreads, and get them finished after baking with
pickled red onions, prosciutto, or fig Marsala.

Owners Steve Salis and Michael Lastoria.

3) Fast-casual-plus

When
the crew gets up to ideal speed you’ll order your pizza at the counter
and have it delivered to your seat in five minutes. But other touches
recall a sit-down restaurant. Servers clear places and take orders while
you’re seated for dessert (think Nutella-topped pizza) or another round
of DC Brau and house red or white wine. And while it doesn’t have a
cute name like “the mozzarella bar,” the prep counter has a few seats
where you can eat while watching cooks pull house-made mozzarella
cheese.

4) The Jenny

“Bubba
Gump” was already taken, so Salis and Lastoria named their
shrimp-topped pie with pesto, zesty tomato sauce, mozzarella, and
ricotta after Forrest’s leading lady. If you don’t feel like designing
your own, there are nine suggestions—all under $10—from the vegan
Redvine with soy mozz, roasted peppers, and eggplant to the meaty
Maverick topped with soppressata, bacon, pepperoni, and spicy sausage.

5) Late Hours

If
there’s a debate between H Street and AdMo for weekend bar hopping,
consider this a point for the Atlas District side. Instead of a 2 AM
jumbo slice you can order the 2 AM Farmer’s Daughter, with sausage,
runny eggs, and hot chili oil.

The Kiss & Fire, with spicy tomato sauce, provolone blend, ricotta, meatballs, mushrooms, and strawberry balsamic.

H
&Pizza. 1118 H St., NE.; 202-733-1285;
andpizza.com. Open Sunday through Thursday 11
AM to 10 PM, and Friday and Saturday 11 AM to 3 AM.

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