Among them is a second location in DC for All Purpose Pizzeria, directly on the waterfront with both indoor and outdoor dining. On an unseasonably warm Father's Day, we opted for inside seating. The space is very bright, open, and well-organized; elegant but still casual. The kitchen is in full view, a dining trend that remains welcome.
All Purpose describes itself as offering "local beer and seasonal dishes inspired by the Eastern U.S. and Italian coastlines." Reading the menu, I noticed a lot of NY and NJ references; our server told us that the owner grew up in New York and North Jersey. The beer list was short but impressive, as was the offer of a free beer for Father's Day. I chose "Downright Pils," a Czech style pilsener from Port City Brewing in nearby Alexandria; it was especially good.
The menu is divided into four categories. Pizza, of course, but also salads, spuntini (light appetizers), and antipasti (heavy appetizers). Although the pizzas are a large 11" personal size, we decided to split one pizza and one appetizer for our lunch visit. From the many good choices, we selected the spring asparagus "marinati" which included blanched and sliced cold asparagus with whipped robiola cheese, toasted sesame, lemon, and salsa verde.
This appetizer was an omen of good things to come; it may be the best asparagus dish I've ever eaten. It was tender but crunchy and there was a swirl of wonderful flavors from the cheese, sesame, and light touch of green salsa.
|Asparagus as served in salad bowl|
I sometimes keep notes about the particular qualities of the sauce, the cheese, the toppings. I failed to do that here - and that speaks to how much I was enjoying each slice and how the ingredients were in ideal balance and harmony. Much like the authentic pizza I grew up eating in New Jersey, the sauce and the cheese melded into a delicious orange swirl that married the pepperoni to the crust.
I did take particular note of the crust, always the most important element. It was even darker on the bottom than the top, but not burnt or overdone. The crust was thin in the center, but not wafer-like. It was much thicker at the cornicione. All the way through, it was delightfully crispy on the outside and lightly chewy within. I commented that they could just bake the crust alone and serve it with butter and it would make a very satisfying meal.
|Underside of crust|
|Conventional gas deck ovens|