What is a surprise still is the lack of pretense and the low-key neighborhood pizza joint atmosphere that DC’s Menomale has maintained.
This semi-hidden gem in the still-quiet Brookland is run by VPN-certified pizzaioli Ettore and Maria Rusciano, who source all their ingredients from Campania, the Southern Italian region that calls Naples its capital. Their diavola — my go-to on any menu that has it — marries for di latte mozzarella, spicy salami, red peppers, San Marzano tomatoes, and basil on a pie that — yes, after a few minutes in the hand-built, wood-fired oven — lets the quality of ingredients sing.
Menomale – Italian for “thank goodness” – is another Neapolitan-inspired pizzeria that opened in DC’s Brookland neighborhood in 2012. Owners Ettore and Maria Rusciano are certified pizza makers – called pizzaioli in Italy – by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Naples. The wood-burning oven is hand-crafted and fires the pizzas at temperatures up to 900°F, giving them a unique flavor and texture.