Update, Aug. 16: Pizzeria Vetri is now open for lunch Monday through Friday.
Name: Pizzeria Vetri
Vitals: 2221 14th St. NW. 202-794-9057. pizzeriavetri.com.
Neighborhood: 14th Street NW
Description: Philadelphia-import pizza joint
Ambiance: Casual eatery for families or friends
Owner: Vetri Family, the newly branded group acquired last year by URBN (parent company of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie and Free People)
Chefs: German Jarquin, culinary director Jeff Michaud
Open: Dinner daily and lunch Friday through Sunday beginning Monday; daily lunch to come this fall
Chef Marc Vetri has eaten the much-famed, much-copied, much-revered pizza of Naples. (See: The VPN certification sought by pizzerias around the world.) "I'm not a fan," said the Philadelphia restaurateur and Vetri Family president who's making his first foray into the Washington market with his casual Pizzeria Vetri. So you won't find super-hot ovens that cook pies in 90 seconds at this pizza joint. Instead, pies will be cooked in the massive wood-burning Marra Forni oven at 700 degrees for about three minutes. The pizzas won't be overly sauced, and while the dough is a traditional long-fermented Neapolitan style, it will be made with America's King Arthur Flour. The dough will also be used to create a slightly thicker slice of the day sold in rectangular pieces as "pizza al taglio."
And before you ask, this is not a build-your-own-pie concept. "We're a pizzeria," said Jeff Benjamin, chief operating officer of Vetri Family, meaning the idea is to keep things relatively simple and streamlined. (This is the fourth Pizzeria Vetri, with two in Philadelphia and one in Austin, Texas.) The dinner menu currently consists of 10 pies, including the standard margherita and pepperoni pizzas, in addition to the Granchio with Maryland blue crab, the Salsiccia with fennel sausage and the Tonno with Sicilian tuna. You will get a choice in size, though. The Napoletano feeds one or two people, while the Metro (as in meter, not our hapless subway) feeds three to four.
Offerings are rounded out with several salads, a calzone and a rotolo, a cinnamon-bun-looking creation rolled up with mortadella, ricotta and pistachio pesto. Almost all the food is prepared using the wood-fired oven.
Desserts include fried pizza dough, cannoli, a Nutella pizza and gelato, including an "ohh miso honey" flavor created by Katsuya Fukushima of Daikaya and Bantam King.
Relatively modest. There will be two wines on tap offered by the glass or carafe -- one white and one red, which is the kind of selection you'd expect at many restaurants in Italy, Benjamin said. One additional white, red and bubbly will be available by the glass or bottle. Expect four cocktails, four beers on tap and a somewhat beefier list of cans and bottles divided into "crisp & clean," "hoppy and you know it," "sugar & spice" and "dark and flavorful" categories.
"Very rustic" and a bit warehouse-y, as Vetri put it. Think red, white and wood. There are 70 seats in the 2,200-square-foot space, which includes two bars -- one wrapping around the oven and another around the beverage nerve center.