It is really challenging to grab hold of the notion thatÂ Il Canale is owned by the proprietor of Joe’s Place Pizza and Pasta. The only plausible scenario I can think of is that Giuseppe “Joe” Farruggio made his fortune, and now wants to pay something back to the dining community.
My young dining companion started with a Diet Pepsi (no Diet Coke here, cheerfully refilled without being asked) while I had a hefty quartino of 2008 Molino di Sant’Antimo Sangiovese ($13) which is made in Montalcino (and tastes like it).
The pizzas at Il Canale tend to be very spartan when it comes to doling out meat (more so than other upscale area pizzerias), so we started with an order of Polpette al Sugo ($7), four sensational meatballs that humiliated the ones I had the night before at Argia’s. Get this.
We then split two pizzas: an Il Canale ($17) with tomato sauce, imported buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, Prosciutto di Parma, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes; and a Capricciosa ($15) with tomato sauce, imported buffalo mozzarella, artichoke hearts, fresh mushrooms, and ham.
Despite there being surprisingly little char on these pizzas, they were very good, and one step away from being outstanding (just as they were on my previous visit). The toppings are balanced, the crust is flavorful and texturally sound, and both pizzas played off one another very nicely.
From everything I’ve experienced so far, Il Canale is a solid second-tier upscale pizzeria that is comfortably in the Top 10 in the DC area, and it’s right in the heart of Georgetown with friendly service, decent wines, and a pleasant atmosphere.