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With the goal of giving readers weekend dining inspiration, we’re launching a short recurring Friday post about the best dish we encountered all week. We’re out there eating all the time, and this city is too tasty not to share our findings.
First up: The meatballs at Sonny’s Pizza.
While it’s tempting to stick to square slices at this Park View newcomer from the minds behind Colony Club, there is a small selection of appetizers that you might expect at a neighborhood pizzeria—garlic knots, Caesar salad, and meatballs. Go for the latter.
The ground-in-house brisket and pork butt meatballs are light and airy like a successful matzah ball. Co-owner Ben Heller says they add flavor by introducing pancetta as well as all of the classic ingredients: Italian parsley, garlic, two cheeses, eggs, bread soaked in milk, salt, and pepper. Had the meatballs been dense clunkers, it would have been hard to save room for pizza.
“We all try to recreate the meatballs that my grandma made,” Heller says. “Her meatballs were always so soft and tender.”
The trio of balls served down the center of the plate are accompanied by house-baked focaccia, ricotta cheese drizzled with olive oil, a sprinkling of Pecorino, and a tangy tomato sauce that you should hold onto as a dipper.
The focaccia is made from the same dough as Sonny’s pizzas, but it’s handled differently in the cooking process. The tomato sauce is also a departure. “We cook the sauce and add garlic and tomato paste,” Heller explains.
Sonny’s Pizza, 3120 Georgia Ave. NW; sonnyspizzadc.com