If my 50 faves were based on style points alone, Seventh Hill Pizza would top the list. Pizzaiolo Anthony Pilla puts on a show every time he preps a pie for the wood-burning oven at the Capitol Hill pizzeria, owned by the same team responsible for the neighboring bistro Montmartre. Pilla takes a ball of fresh dough, stretches it thin with his fingertips, spins it skyward, and stretches it again along the edge of a stainless-steel counter with a few swift, almost imperceptible movements, as fast and graceful as a magician. Once the dough is shaped to his satisfaction, he pulls down a peel, spins the instrument in his hand as if he were between serves at Wimbledon, and places the round on it. The performance alone is worth a stopover at Seventh Hill—and the pies aren’t bad, either. Thin and crispy, they borrow from Neapolitan traditions without slavishly following them. All that dough manipulation? It ain’t really a Naples thing. But traditional or not, Pilla’s pies speak in bold accents, whether the salty language of the Seventh Street, with its prosciutto and Parmesan, or the rustic French patois of the Eastern Market, with its goat cheese, herbs, and tapenade. Don’t overlook Pilla’s sandwiches, either, served on Parm-dusted pizza-dough bread, which acts as a umami megaphone for such bites as the Italian, trumpeting the flavors of Genoa salami, mortadella, capicola, provolone, and hot peppers.
327 Seventh St. SE (202) 544-1911
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