These 10 Bethesda-area pizzerias have captured our attention
Making a Great Pie
We asked owners of our featured restaurants: “What is vital for a perfect pizza?” Here are some of our favorite responses.
Ruth Gresser, Pizzeria Paradiso
“Someone who knows what they’re doing at the oven. Cooks work their way up through the various stations of our kitchen, and the oven is the last station to get to. They have to enjoy the thrill of moving 13 pizzas around and having them come out perfect.”
Tony Conte, Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana
“All phases need to come together—perfect fermentation of the dough, perfect hydration, the temperature in the room, the quality of the products and a good bake.”
James Alefantis, Comet Ping Pong
“It’s about flavor and texture, that little bit of gooeyness between the crust of the bread and the sauce and the cheese, where you feel the aliveness of it all. It’s a living thing, made with yeast. We hand-make each one and treat it like it’s a little present for the guest. It brings you back to the moment of the best pizza of your childhood.”
Ankur Rajpara, Pizza CS
“Passion in what you’re doing—crafting the dough, how to manipulate it, to open it up, to make adjustments according to the seasons. It’s more of a craft than a process, which is why I went back to Naples to be certified as a pizza-maker by the APN, the Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani.”
Alessandro Ferro, Pizzeria Da Marco
“The dough. And the weather. On more humid days, the dough is wetter and chewier. On days with perfect humidity, the dough is perfect. My mom would say, ‘The dough is nervous today’ when the weather wasn’t cooperating.”
Frank Linn, Frankly…Pizza!
“The dough is definitely a focal point; it’s the platter everything else is placed on. Pizza is its own plate. Everything must come together to make a great pie—sweet, salt, chew. Char and crispness are important. I’ve traveled around a lot and haven’t had a lot of great pizza.”