Sette Osteria

 

Sette Osteria

1666 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington 20009

202-483-3070

Saturday marked my third or fourth visit to Sette–but the first time I ordered a pizza. I was told by a reliable source that there are only a handful of certified Neapolitan pizzerias in the city and Sette is among them. Also among them are Pizza Paradiso and 2 Amy’s.

So what is Neapolitan pizza?–I am not entirely sure. I know it involves a wood-burning oven and the colors of the Italian flag (red-tomato, white-cheese, and green-basil). But back to the nitty-gritty–Sette’s Pizza.

I ordered my typical–four-cheese pizza and marinara sauce on the side. The pizza arrived covered in gorgonzola, fresh mozzarella, pecorina campano, and grana. I expected such an outrageous use of strong cheeses to be too overwhelming on one pizza, but to my surprise the combination was nothing less than incredible. But let’s put aside the cheese for a moment and talk about the crust. The crust was hands down the best I have ever eaten. It was crunchy on the outside with a moist, almost egg-y quality, on the inside. In places where the crust was thin it had bubbled up in the heat of the oven (but wasn’t burnt on the bottom like Pizzeria Paradiso). Imagine the innards of a french cruller–this was the texture of the bubbled dough. The pizza by itself was incredible but before finishing the review, I had to dip the crust in the marinara. I couldn’t quite figure out what it was that I tasted in the sauce. I had to dip several times–not because I liked the sauce, because frankly I didn’t, but because I was trying to figure out if there was a dairy product in the marinara. For my tastes, the marinara was bland, but it had an odd creamy quality that I couldn’t put my finger on. I asked my wait-person and she asked the chef. The chef came to my table to explain the ingredients. In a strong Italian accent, the chef proceeded to tell me that it wasn’t cream but carrots, onions, and basil that I tasted. He said that the Neapolitan spices were much more subtle than the American (bastardized) version of marinara. Well…I am on a quest to find the “best pizza Americana”–and Sette is very, very close to the best…sans the marinara. The marinara is just too Italian I guess.

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