In my last pre-hurricane meal, my young dining companion and I returned to Menomalé which we enjoyed before, and we enjoyed it every bit as much this time around.
Matt began with a San Pellegrino Aranciata ($3.00), the blood orange version of these tasty soft drinks that are becoming more-and-more available (this has been around, incidentally, since 1932). I started with a Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar ($7.00) which was very nice, but when I ordered it, I didn’t realize that there was a “half-price” page of beers that they’re trying to move in order to make room for new inventory (the consumer’s advantage to dining in a tiny restaurant!)
We split our order, one Pannuozo and one Pizza. The Buongustaio ($8.00) was a wood-fired round of pizza dough, folded around sausage, proscuitto di Parma, mozzarella di bufala, and maionese <— I’m pretty sure that’s Italian for mayo. With the proscuitto, cutting it in half was easier in theory than in practice. The Quattro Stagioni ($13.00) had San Marzano tomatoes and D.O.P mozzarella di bufala underneath four stages of mushrooms, artichokes, black olives, and prosciutto cotto. The primary difference between the pannuozi and pizze (are these plurals correct?), aside from the prices, is that the pizza toppings are baked, and the pannuozo fillings are added after the baking. From the half-priced beer list, I got a Kurofune Baltic Porter (discounted to $5.00), a tough to find Japanese porter brewed “at the foot of Mt. Fuji.”
This was another good showing for Menomalé which reinforces it as being one of the strongest pizzerias in DC. Although we were stuffed, I was ever-mindful that Matt is 15, and so we got a La Bomba ($6.00) for the ride home. The La Bomba is a dessert-hybrid between the pannuozo and the pizza, with the dough coated with Nutella, baked, rolled (like a cannoli), cut into two pieces, and dusted with powdered sugar. It’s somewhat crepe-ish, and very hard not to like, especially at the price.
On the way out of the restaurant, it was drizzling, and it didn’t stop raining for days. Despite this, Menomalé is maintained as a solid Italic in the Dining Guide.