I’m going to start out by saying that I do not love deep dish pizza (sorry to all of those Chicagoans out there). I grew up believing pizza should be basic: thin crust, a nice sauce, and some delicious cheese on top. Call me simplistic, but I like my pizza classic like they do it in Italy. But when I heard about the Pi Truck
rolling around town serving their St. Louis deep dish recipe there seemed to be some good buzz in the food community so I was intrigued. Just a few weeks ago they officially opened their full service restaurant District of Pi
in Penn Quarter on 910 F Street NW and I decided I wanted to give it a try. After a fun evening of meeting Bobby Flay at Sixth and I Synagogue
, I went to dinner at District of Pi with four other foodies (two of them bloggers, one of them an owner of a food truck in town). Needless to say, we are a picky bunch.
As soon as we entered District of Pi I was shocked at the size of the restaurant. From the street it looks like a narrow space; from the inside, it goes back for miles. There’s a huge upstairs, main level, and a basement as well as a very spacious bar area that easily seats twenty people comfortably. It’s amazing how many people can fit into this place for pizza and beer at once, and with the close proximity to hotels, offices, and residences, Pi will likely garner attention and crowds for a casual drinking and dining experience.
District of Pi exterior on F Street NW. Photo courtesy of District of Pi's Facebook page.
District of Pi interior. Photo courtesy of District of Pi's Facebook page.
It was close to 10PM by the time we sat down for dinner and we were a ravenous bunch. We decided to all get small salads and then share a bunch of appetizers and a pizza for the table. We took the advice of Tom Sietsema’s review from The Washington Post who had panned the restaurant earlier in the day claming they should rename it District of Wings since they were the standout and the pizza was forgettable. So, first came my pi’oneer salad which was actually quite good. It came with romaine lettuce, salami, cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, and a house made creamy italian dressing. I really enjoyed it, and the other ladies had the BLT salad and the bada bing salad with almonds, gorgonzola, and dried cherries and all reports were positive. The salads come in small and large sizes and would be great options for lunch for those who work downtown. Next came the appetizers of meatballs, blazed chicken wings, a hummus plate, and fresh mozzarella with sundried tomato and arugula. The winners of the evening were the meatballs which were well sauced and served over a crispy piece of oiled bread and the delicious chicken wings which were breaded and crispy. Now, time for the pizza.
This is what the deep dish pizza looks like at District of Pi. Photo Courtest of District of Pi's Facebook page.
We got a large thin crust central west end which is made with mozzarella, proscuitto, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, red onions, and arugula. We did let the pizza sit for a few minutes, but at first bite I knew I was unimpressed. The pizza was cold, the crust which is made with cornmeal was hard and cracker-like, and the preparation was dry. I know the pizza had no sauce, but I’ve had many similar pizzas to this with the same ingredients that are still very moist (i.e. Ella’s, Posto, Pizzeria Paradiso and others). So, we all agreed that the pizza was a total miss. However, I would need to try the deep to be fair and round out my final opinion of the pizza.
Here’s why it will still do well: salads are great and offer a much needed option for those who work in the area, bar area is huge and will be provide a great spot for drinks, tons of space to host parties and private events, very reasonably priced, good appetizer selections. Who needs pizza anyways? Get me some meatballs, wings, and a salad and I’m a happy camper.
District of Pi
910 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20004