New York’s Emmy Squared Will Bring (More) Detroit-Style Pizza and Its Famous Burger to DC

The Brooklyn-born pizzeria is opening two District locations.

The Emmy pie, topped with banana peppers, red onion, and ranch dressing. Photo courtesy of Emmy Squared.

It’s been a big week for pizza fanatics, no matter what style you’re into. First came a (now-confirmed) rumor that 94 year-old New Haven institution Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana is bringing its coal-fired pies to Westfield Montgomery mall (if you’ve never had its standard-setting white clam pizza, make that your first priority). Then, Neapolitan newcomer Stellina announced that it’s expanding beyond its Union Market-adjacent shop into two locations: a dessert shop inside Union Market, and a dining room in Mount Vernon Triangle.

If you’ve been following pizza trends around here, though, you’ll know that there’s one style that’s rapidly on the rise: Detroit. 

That’s what’s on the menu at Emmy Squared, a Brooklyn-born pizzeria that’s headed to both Shaw (in the old Kyirisan space) and Navy Yard (exact location TBA). Co-owners Matt and Emily Hyland and their team’s pies are traditionally Detroit: thick-ish and cooked in a sheet pan, with cheese baked directly into the crust—it gets amazingly caramelized and crispy—and sauce striped on top. But they take plenty of liberties when it comes to accessories. One pizza is slathered with vodka sauce. Another is topped with banana peppers, red onion, and ranch dressing. Its Roni Supreme plays it straight with mozzarella and pep’, but adds Calabrian chilies to the mix. 

The spicy chicken sandwich with pickles, radish, and ranch dressing. Photo courtesy of Emmy Squared.

Also on the menu: a mound of okonomiyaki-inspired fries; the restaurant’s famed double cheeseburger (aka “Le Big Matt”), laden with American cheese, pickles, and creamy sauce; and massive sandwiches stuffed with chicken parm’ or fried green tomatoes. A Nashville-hot-chicken-meets-wedge salad sports plenty of Alabama white sauce, Benton’s bacon, and blue cheese. Look for a few DC-specific items, which will hopefully fare better than a recent mumbo sauce-drizzled pizza that cropped up elsewhere. 

The Le Big Matt burger. Photo courtesy of Emmy Squared.

The Shaw location will open by early 2020 (“hopefully by Christmas” its PR rep tells me). Navy Yard should arrive mid-year. 

Emmy Squared, 1924 Eighth St., NW

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.