The Shaw restaurant, which makes some of the best and most well-thought-out pies in Washington, has added its version of a Buffalo-chicken pizza called the Meadowlands ($19). But it's only available at lunch, which is when chef-owner Michael Friedman said the team likes to take a more playful approach to its food. (The Meadowlands is the sports and entertainment complex in Friedman's native state of New Jersey that's home to the New York Giants and Jets.)
The idea evolved after chef de cuisine Erik Rollings was kicking around the idea of putting ranch dressing on a pizza. Talking about ranch morphed into wings with blue cheese and, well, one thing led to another. Buffalo chicken pizza it was.
“When we first made it, we were like, ‘Oh god, we’re filthy people,’ ” Friedman said.
Being the restaurant that it is, All-Purpose has upgraded nearly every element of the pie. The crust is the same long-fermented dough used on the rest of the menu. It's covered in a Parmesan fonduta, or white sauce, that includes garlic, Parmesan and ricotta. The chicken is slow-cooked in chicken fat and olive oil. Then there's mozzarella from Connecticut, a Gorgonzola ranch sauce and, naturally, celery and celery leaves. Chopped cornichons add a pickled brightness. The hot sauce, mixed with butter, is made in-house. (If you like things spicier, ask for extra sauce.)
Sure, it all sounds fancy, but really it just tastes like a Buffalo chicken pizza. A very good Buffalo chicken pizza. And it's everything we crave in one beautiful pie.
Diners seem to agree: Friedman said it's the most popular pizza at lunch. It's also what the managers order at the end of the shift.
All-Purpose rotates a portion of its pies seasonally, but the Meadowlands could be here to stay, including possibly at the second location coming soon to Navy Yard.
“I don’t think it’s going to go away any time soon,” Friedman said. “It’s too good.”
1250 Ninth St. NW. 202-849-6174.