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At the start of the holiday season, I was finally able to check out new 14th Street pizza-centric restaurant Etto. Many of you might be familiar with popular pizza jaunt 2Amys up near the National Cathedral. Etto and 2Amys actually share an owner, but I am happy to report that the pizzas are much different--I've personally never understood the acclaim of 2Amys. Etto is a tiny restaurant, seating only about 40 patrons. It has an additional 10 or so bar seats. The staff was generally friendly, but on the quieter side.
Let's start from the beginning though. We started out with a bottle of prosecco. Clearly, there was no room for that to disappoint.
We next moved on to the roasted artichoke. It was served with olive oil, garlic and other spices. The flavor was delightfully simple, but in a good way. It was refreshing, light, and harmonious. This was actually a dish featured on their nightly special menu, but if you happen to see this offered again, make sure to give it a try.
Next we shared the Buffalo Mozzarella. This cheese was drizzled with olive oil and had hints of lemon. It was served along with fresh bread. It actually tasted as if an Italian grandmother was working in the back room preparing this cheese. It was incredibly fresh and flavorful.
Last but not least, the star event. Etto doesn't offer a huge variety of pizzas, but they do make all the dough fresh in-house using an old fashioned mill machine. The pizza is wood fired to perfection before being delivered piping hot to the table.
One main difference between Etto and 2Amys that I immediately noticed is that the pizza is not doused in olive oil, which I feel makes the 2Amys pies extremely soggy. Etto's pizza, on the other hand, while thin, managed to maintain its crispiness. The sauce was tart and tangy, and the mozzarella cheese was melted perfection. The fresh basil on top added to the overall flavor palette.
I will definitely be returning to Etto again soon. The atmosphere, service, and food are bound to make it a staple in the 14th street restaurant world.