Ettore Rusciano likes to send himself fancy flours.
The card-carrying member of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana imports 00 Caputo flour (along with mozzarella, tomatoes, vino, even a 6,000-pound oven crafted by his family) from his native Campania to make crispy-thin pizza at Menomalé.
Like the 38-seat ristorante in Catholic U.’s backyard, Rusciano’s menu is spare but smart: platters of cheese and salami; lightly topped pies like the Terra (artichokes, mushrooms) and Bianca (cream, prosciutto); and La Bomba (blistered Italian donuts injected with Nutella by a comically large syringe).
Get sudsy with twenty rotating draft beers (selected by biz partner/beverage director Leland Estes) in a dining room decked out with a mural of Mount Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples. Making the spot even more Italian: opera music as the sound track and Pinocchio figurines in the open kitchen.
It’s molto delizioso. And that’s no lie.
Menomalé, 2711 12th Street Northeast (202-248-3946 or menomale.us).
Photo: Kate Gibbs for DailyCandy