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How many Neapolitan pizzerias does one town need? It’s a rhetorical question with a real inquiry buried within: Have our pizza tastes become so inflexible that we want to wolf down nothing but the traditional flatbread of Naples? As I put together this guide, two new Neapolitan pie houses have opened in Northern Virginia: Pupatella in Arlington and Pizzeria Orso in Falls Church, both too new for consideration this year. Il Canale also bows before Neapolitan traditions, ingredients, and techniques, right down to the Caputo 00 flour from Italy. Chef Enrico Sautto is even a fifth-generation pizzaiolo from Naples. Unlike its NoVa counterparts, though, Il Canale adopts an air of Georgetown formality. Its two- and four-tops sport black tablecloths and linen napkins. It makes for an elegant, full-service pie-eating experience, which may not be your thing. But when Sautto’s rounds arrive fresh from the wood-burning oven with perfect outer crusts—so beautifully uniform in their puffiness they look like inflated inner tubes—you’ll forget you’re in Georgetown and think you’re in…yep, you know the town.
1063 31st St. NW (202) 337-4444
See the full 2010 Young & Hungry Dining Guide