What’s a three-star chef doing running a pizza joint in a Gaithersburg shopping plaza? Having a blast. Tony Conte may have abandoned his post at the Oval Room, but he hasn’t ditched his commitment to top-quality ingredients, nor has he tossed aside his essential approach, which is to create intricate dishes of varying textures and popping flavors. His sunchoke appetizer is deserving of white-glove presentation—the vegetables roasted until they take on the softness of baked potatoes, then hit with Parmesan sauce and toasted hazelnuts. He brings this same care to his thin-crust pizzas. A version with soft egg and truffles is both indulgent and made for quick devouring.
Don’t miss: burrata; Margherita pizza; cherry-tomato pizza; prosciutto-and-arugula pizza; vanilla custard with stewed apples.