Cacio e Pepe Pizza and “Fancy” Oyster Spot Opens in Union Market

Parachute Pizza comes from the team behind French bistro and wine bar Primrose.

Parachute Pizzas "Spicy Boii" with pepperoni, pickled chilies, and hot honey. Photograph by Saltbridge Strategies for Parachute Pizza.

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Parachute Pizza in Union Market. 1309 5th St., NE

Sicilian-style pizzas, dressed-up oysters, and wines on tap arrive at Union Market on Wednesday, November 15. (UPDATE: The opening has been delayed.) The team behind Brookland French bistro and wine bar Primrose is opening a new spot called Parachute Pizza—named such because, as co-owner Sebastian Zutant explains, “pizza saves lives.”

The opening menu will focus on that “thick, gushy stuff”—pizza with a crispy olive oil-fried crust and airy-chewy interior, says Zutant, who’s partnering with Primrose general manager Erin Im and chef Oliver Friendly on the new venture. Toppings include staples like tomato, basil, and mozzarella or pepperoni with pickled chilis and honey. But you’ll also find some more creative options like a “cacio e pepe” pie with a provolone white sauce, caramelized onion, roasted garlic, and a lot of black pepper. Friendly, who also operates Eat & Smile Catering, says he hopes to eventually expand the menu to include “taco-ish” and breakfast pizzas.

Pizzas will be available by the square ($5-$7) or tray ($34-$46). Friendly says a whole pie is enough to feed four to six—or two to three “drunk college kids.” For a small upcharge, diners can opt for a gluten-free crust made with King Arthur’s gluten-free pizza mix, which Friendly claims is almost indistinguishable from the regular crust. The opening menu also includes a Caesar salad with parmesan crisps, white anchovies, garlic croutons, and candied lemon. Later, the team may add garlic knots or other small plates.

Oysters will join the menu a week or two after the place opens. Served by the half dozen, the oysters will be available on the half-shell with lemon or dressed up with various rotating toppings. One “fancy” version will come with salmon roe, pickled beets, and tarragon vinegar. Friendly is also playing with “pizza oysters” topped with crispy pepperoni and garlic chips.

Zutant is a well-known DC somm and has his own Virginia wine label, Lightwell Survey. At Parachute Pizza, he’ll be focusing on “weird shit” and “easy drinking.” The 10 rotating offerings will be canned or on draft, including an orange wine and Beaujolais-Villages from Dufaitre (“one of my favorite producers,” Zutant says). He hopes to keg up his own Lightwell Survey wine next year. There will also be ciders, beers, and canned cocktails (including some non-alcoholic options).

The Union Market space, formerly home to Red Apron’s stall, will have six spots at the bar, high-tops seating around 20 people, plus a glass window looking into the pizza kitchen. Counter service with tablet ordering will be available to start, but they’ll look into making the bar full-service down the line.

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.