One by one, we’re running through the 50 restaurants that made the cut on this year’s Young & Hungry Dining Guide. If you have visited the day’s featured restaurant, let us know what you think. If you’re planning to visit for the first time, tell us about your meal when you return.
With their selection of serious wood-fired pizzas, the crusts both charred and slightly sweet with honey, owner Jose Velasquez and wife, Reyna Isabella Acosta, have done more than introduce Neapolitan-style pizza to an underserved Petworth neighborhood. They’ve also helped to break the stranglehold that Mexican cuisine has on Salvadoran restaurateurs. Well, sort of. The menu at Moroni & Brothers does feature a number of Mexican and Tex-Mex staples, but its focus is squarely on the wood-oven pizzas, which Velasquez learned to make under Ruth Gresser’s tutelage at Pizzeria Paradiso, and the Salvadoran dishes from the owners’ home country. This kitchen fusion can lead to some rare cultural fusion in the dining room, too, where Anglo foodies and Hispanic regulars mix together at this Georgia Avenue storefront, the Spanish-language music blaring from the jukebox at ear-splitting volumes. But it can also lead to a heady dining experience, whether you opt for the fiery Diavola pie with sausage and jalapeños or the fattier pleasures of Moroni’s pork-and-cheese pupusa.
Addendum: Y&H looks into the question of why Salvadoran and Mexican cuisines are forever entwined at area restaurants.
Moroni & Brothers, 4811 Georgia Ave. NW, (202) 829-2090
Photo courtesy of Moroni & Brothers