Just as I was saying this never happens, it happened again right away: we ate at Ghibellina (1610 14th Street) over the weekend and then Tom Sietsema First-Bit it today. And just as with Mi Cocina previously, it sounds like we bit the same stuff.
Ghibellina’s pizza is awesome, especially the crust, with crisp blistered exterior but chewy, yeasty inside, and not soggy in the middle. Tomato sauce tastes fresher and brigher here than at most places, and I don’t think it is just the rustic ambience* affecting our perception. Toppings are uniformly excellent too; we tried the margherita and the olive-and-artichoke. Overall a nice balance of crust/sauce/cheese/toppings; I might have like a tad more cheese, but that’s nit-picking. Instant contender for best pizza in DC. We didn’t try anything besides pizza, and I’m sure lots of other menu items are delicious, but did I mention awesome pizza?
* lots of wood and marble and tile, really a lovely if high-decibel setting, although the huge wooden beams suspended above the bar seating are worrisome — hope they’re well-bolted to the ceiling…
Plus, as Sietsema immediately notes, you get to
slice cut your own pizza using large pizza shears, which are apparently a thing. A great thing! Allegedly tableside shearing helps the crust not be “droopy” in the middle, and maybe that’s true — as noted, the crust here stays fairly crisp even in the middle of the pie. But mostly it’s just fun to shear things in a nice restaurant! If they had a garden patio there could be so much pruning. I think the Ghibellina shears are sharper than anything in our shed at home (sadly).
Then again, the shears could get dangerous after a few drinks. Do they serve a Ghib-bellini? Of course they do. Some of Ghibellina’s cocktails seemed a little light on the alcohol, which might lead one to drink an extra one or three, which might lead to shearing incidents if one turns out to be wrong about the lightness. I hope the owners are insured for shearing. Insheared? Anyway, alcohol content questions aside, the cocktails were also good, although you have to watch the giant basil leaf in the Estate in Toscana lest you put your eye out. Or maybe carefully not watch it. Especially after three of them at $6 happy hour prices. Especially when the group’s final pizza is arriving and everyone wants some and GIVE ME THOSE SHEARS RIGHT NOW.