100 Very Best Restaurants 2017: Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana

Chef/owner Tony Conte opens Pizzeria Inferno Napoletana in Gaithersburg. Photography by Jeff Elkins

“It’s not like Domino’s,” our 18-year-old server explains earnestly. No, it definitely is not. Thanks to chef/owner Tony Conte’s fine-dining background, Inferno isn’t like your average Neapolitan-pizza joint, either. The former Oval Room chef has mastered a perfectly blistered crust, tangy tomato sauce, and uncrowded combination of seasonal toppings such as egg and black truffles or lemon-braised fennel and prosciutto. Don’t skip the small selection of appetizers, either—Conte’s finesse and skill really come through in the striking flavors and artistic presentations. Condiments are particularly vibrant, whether a watermelon marmalade with burrata or plum-ginger jam with ember-roasted beets. Inexpensive.

Also great: Ember-roasted potato-and-onion pizza with bacon; sweet-sausage pizza with peppers; prosciutto with peach mostarda; vanilla soft-serve.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.

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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.

Kristen Hinman
Articles Editor

Kristen Hinman has been editing Washingtonian’s features since 2014. She joined the magazine after editing politics & policy coverage for Bloomberg Businessweek and working as a staff writer for Voice Media Group/Riverfront Times.