Topped with everything-spice, lox, onions, capers, scallions and mascarpone cheese, this brunch pizza from Alta Strada is a must-try. (Holley Simmons/The Washington Post)

Chefs come up with the darnedest things.

While sitting in the Alta Strada office with a colleague, chef de cuisine Sarah Ravitz polled the room: “What would you want for breakfast if we could have anything?”

The answer: everything-bagel-spice pizza, naturally.

Available only at weekend brunch, the dish hit the menu at the beginning of the year and was an instant success at the D.C. restaurant. “It’s the most popular dish,” Ravitz said. “Every ticket has an everything bagel pizza on it.”

To make the heavenly hybrid, Ravitz begins with the same pizza dough served at dinner. It’s generously topped with an everything-spice blend made from garlic and onion flakes, white and black sesame seeds, caraway seeds and poppy seeds. A layer of fontina cheese is added before it’s baked. “We undercook it a little bit so it’s soft like a bagel,” Ravitz said.

Next comes smoked salmon from Ivy City Smokehouse, sliced tomatoes, scallions, red onion, capers and dollops of mascarpone cheese, which Ravitz says is slightly less sweet than cream cheese.

When the warm crust interacts with the cold toppings, it creates a happy confusion in your mouth. The heat softens the mascarpone while the raw onion slices hold a crunch and kick the everything-spice blend up an extra notch. You’ll think you're eating a bagel, just without all that extra dough.

Plus, Ravitz said, it serves a very important function. “It’s a good breakfast after you’ve been drinking too much.” 

$15.95, available Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 465 K St. NW, 202-629-4662,

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