Pupatella, Arlington, VA

In the past few months, I doubt there’s a single restaurant I’ve been to more than Pupatella. Along with Pizzeria Orso, it is one of my two favorite pizzas in the area right now, and Pupatella comes in at a lower price point than Orso.

This place has become so popular that it has become fruitless (for me, anyway) to try and order carryout over the phone here – it just rolls over to voice mail during peak hours – so I broke down the other night and dined in the restaurant.

One thing I always, always do at Pupatella is to order at least two pizzas because that gives you a discount of $10 on any bottle of wine (this is both for dining in and carrying out). Don’t be tempted to save a dollar by ordering La Bastarda (their least expensive white); “spring” for the new Sicilian white they’re offering, the 2009 Case Ibidini Insolia ($23, but a fantastic $13 with the discount) which has better acidity and is more food-friendly.  This wine is the second label of Valle dell’Acate.

And, as usual, the two pizzas were great. From the regular menu, a Spinach ($10) comes with white garlic sauce, spinach, roasted red pepper, pine nuts and pecorino. And on their weekly specials list, a Hot Coppa ($12) came with coppa (from Olli Salumeria in Richmond), rosemary, caramelized onions, and fontina. Both of these pizzas were equal in quality, one being vegetarian, the other not.

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