Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit a new Neapolitan style pizzeria recently opened by one of the members of Pizzamaking.com (forum name is "Dohboy"), Ankur.
I met Ankur this past Fall when I purchased his 2stone oven. Ankur explained that he no longer needed the 2stone because, of all things, he was very close to opening up his first pizzeria in Rockville, Maryland, which is near my home in Bethesda, Md.
When I picked up the 2stone from Ankur at the location of his new place, it was still under construction, and his new Stephan Ferrara oven had just been received and installed inside the new space. Of course, it was beautiful, and as much as I love my 2stone, I left feeling serious "oven envy". I promised to be back to say hello after they opened for business.
I believe that they opened in early November, but I just made my way there yesterday. I love classic Neapolitan pizza, and have tried as many places, in as many places, as I have had the opportunity to do (including 2 Amys in DC, Keste, UPN and Motorino). I order a Margherita and a white pizza with Arugula and Braesola, together with a salad, and brought them home for dinner with my wife.
The pies were fantastic. A slight crisp to the Caputo crust, but a very tender crumb. We both liked the taste of the crust, and the toppings were in just the right proportion. Ankur shared that he was using a Fresh Yeast dough made with Sicilian Sea Salt. The cheese and simple crushed tomato sauce was also really good. We enjoyed these pies as much as any we have had, and I actually prefer the slightly crispy crust to the softer crust of some of the other places (which are also terrific, of course).
Ankur seems to have a perfectionist approach to his pizza, and after my two pies came out of the oven (I am guessing his uses a 2 minute back), he insisted on re-making one of the pies because he did not like the way the first one came out. As a result, he sent me home with three pies rather than the two I ordered and paid for.
The salad was also very good, but, of course, it is the pizza that is worth the trip.
The pizzeria itself is not table-service, but has tables and a comfortable eating area for people who want to enjoy their pizza right away. Decor is colorful and a little funky.
In sum, very much worth the trip for those in the area. I am looking forward to going back very soon.