New Restaurant Will Try to Import New York Slices and Water to Georgetown

Photo by Domesticat.

As briefly mentioned Tuesday, a new restaurant called “Fuhggetaboutit” is planning to open where the Philadelphia Cheesesteak Factory used to be (and where the Cellar Door was before that). The owner of the new restaurant chimed in with a comment explaining a bit more about the project. “Tony” explained his plans:

Fuhggetaboutit NY pizza(Faipizza.com) is not your typical pizza chain!
We will be serving unfailing goodness of real authentic NY style pizza that is handcrafted and baked in traditional style old school brick oven.

We will be making stretching our own Fior Di Latte (Fresh mozzarella) in full view of our customers. Our obsession with traditional old world quality – locally sourced organic products (when available)-organic extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany Italy- homemade fresh dough, and NYinized water will make as an apart. Not to mentioned 18 years of Pizza Experience to perfect the recipe.

Yes, that’s right “NYinized” water. Tony later explained that this is water whose pH balance is adjusted to match NYC’s, which according to him is why you can’t get genuine NY-style pizza outside of NY. GM’s pretty skeptical, but at least one other restaurant uses the same technique/gimmick. We’ll see if the pizza turns out to be more authentic than the restaurant’s name.

If you hang out with transplanted New Yorkers, they will eventually complain about the lack of NY-style pizza in DC. While the correct response is an eye-roll, there is a lot of truth to the observation. GM thinks there are other reasons besides the pH balance of our water to explain this. The first is that historically Italian immigrants didn’t come to DC. Secondly, GM guesses zoning has a bit to do with it too. When people talk about the NY-style pizza, they are mostly imagining the tiny parlor in the first floor of an apartment building. That sort of small space geared towards take-out is simply not that common in DC.

We have added a lot of sit-down pizza places in the last few years, but they tend towards the fancier Neapolitan style featured at restaurants like Pizzeria Paradiso or Two Amys. The only DC restaurant that GM has found that comes closest to replicating the NY-style is Goody’s in Dupont, but they keep really weird hours.

17 Comments

Filed under Restaurants

17 responses to “New Restaurant Will Try to Import New York Slices and Water to Georgetown

  1. carol Joynt

    I hope this turns out to be true. It would be awesome to be able to get an authentic slice in Gtown.

  2. heynerdlinger

    “If you hang out with transplanted New Yorkers”…

  3. Randy Roffman

    Fuhgeddaboudit!

  4. RNM

    Let me get this straight…
    The neighborhood complained and effectively chased out a Pizza place from the same building and then went after them at a different location… elevating it to a city government issue…but is now happy to have another pizza place come in?

    Fair warning to the folks opening up….if you are doing late night business catering to students and people trying to sober up before heading home from various bars…then the community will turn on you in a heartbeat. New York City may never sleep, but there is a lot of pressure to make this town sleep, and in particular this little burb of it. Look forward to the new neighbor, and hopefully a nice slice at 3am on a Saturday night.

    RNM

  5. Jonathan

    He’s right about the nyc water. But no self respecting NY pizzeria uses a brick oven.

  6. M

    Brick oven = stone deck oven they use in NY

  7. GeorgeM

    Georgetown hasn’t had a real NY-style pizzeria since the late 80’s when Alfredo and Miriam’s on M Street closed after its owners were arrested for trafficking heroin. I think Alfredo’s nickname in mob circles was “The Butcher.” I personally saw him hit a customer and throw him on to M Street in some dispute.

    But if you want really authentic NY pizza (John’s, Lombardi’s) you need a coal oven. Good luck getting approval for that.

  8. Jonathan

    Im not denying brick ovens exist in nyc. but any $2 slice spot–Ray’s, Famous Ray’s, Wild Famous Rays, Rays Famous–all of em use a stove. The brick oven spots like posto on 19th and 2nd ave, guappos in the east vil–they’re overpriced burned crust is for yuppies.

  9. Tony

    Traditional Brick Oven can be Gas Fired, Wood fired and Coal Fired (with coal fired bricks need to replaced once in a while because of the extreme heat). I guess Stove is just a name can be used for these types of oven.

    NY Style Pizzerias are: Joes (My favorite), Artichoke, Rays(Real Rays 1st one is on Prince St.), Sal’s and Carmine’s, Bleecker Street Pizza, NY Pizza Supreme, Saluggis, Di Fara, Joe & Pat’s, Carmines they all use Gas Stone Deck Brick Oven.

    NY Neapolitan Pizzerias that uses Coal : Patsy’s(in Harlem my favorite), Grimaldis, Luzzo’s, Totono’s, Johns Pizzeria, , Lombardi’s(what NY calls tourist trap)
    Neapolitan: Keste, Motorino, Robertas….
    You can find out more about these pizza places that I visited and tested here:
    http://blog.fuhggetaboutit.com/

    Note: No worries “RNM” we want to be part of this community. For that reason we no longer using 34th ST side for any business. Former Philly Pizza side (inside the building) will be used for trash and janitor. (You won’t see any trash piling up there anymore)
    We will be open for business only on M ST.

    Tony
    Fuhggetaboutit NY Pies

  10. Tony

    Yes it is true NY water is not the only reason for making good NY pies. It is only one of many other important elements.

  11. Charlie Eason

    Tony,
    You really should experiment with our WASA water (ok, they would rather you call them “DC Water” these days. The water is bad enough without the “sewer” thrown in).

    I’m not sure about the pH thing, but I think the touch of lead lends a rather distinctive taste to DC Pizza. Philly seemed to have thought a dose of salad dressing made it palatable, but after a night guzzling beer probably anything would taste gourmet.

    Good luck! I’ll be by for a slice, if for no other reason than to see about the NYized water. Can you get it by the cup?

  12. pizzablogger

    @jonathan Nearly all of the very first pizzerias in NYC employed brick ovens and the core of these, the “Big 5″ of Lombardi’s, Totonno’s Coney Island, John’s of Bleeker Street, Patsy’s East Harlem and Grimaldi’s all have brick ovens. Dittos for joints like Sac’s (Astoria, Queens), Toby’s Public House, Lucali, Arturo’s etc. These are all more than self respecting, but they do make a different style of pizza (New York-Neapolitan) than what I think you were really referring to (NY Style…”street slice”).

    The brick is not the key component, it’s that brick ovens are usually fired by a fuel source (coal, wood, gas..or oil in the case of Tocconelli’s in the Illadelph and Modern Apizza in New Haven) which delivers a high temperature. One of the most critical elements of truly great pizza, regardless of style, is heat….as in high, with (ideally) the pizza in somewhat close proximity to the radiant waves of the heat source.

    NY Style, “street style” (as an aside, if you see a pizzeria in NYC with the word “Ray” in it…it is gonna be crap pizza…except for the original iteration on Prince Street) is cooked in a gas deck oven. It’s not a “stone oven”, which is the gimmicky type of nonsense seen in places like the Carolinas.

    As far as “brick ovens” are concerned, I have seen a growing trend in pizzerias advertising “brick oven pizza” when the oven is not. You cannot have a gas fired deck oven, cover it with a facade of brick and call it a “brick oven”. A Marsal & Sons MB Series or Baker’s Pride Il Forno Classico brick lined oven are does not qualigy as a “brick oven” either.

    http://www.marsalsons.com/default.aspx?pageId=14

    Click to access FC%20Design%20%20Install%20Guide%20-final%20All.pdf

    Facades and brick lined ovens are advertising bullocks, period.

    Brick ovens were made famous because of the high heat of the fuel source usually employed in it, which allowed the pizzas to cook in a faster time….with better oven spring, less dried out crumbs (inner crust) and char being some of the main advantages of quicker cooking times at higher temperatures.

    All of this nonsensical rambling aside, when looking at Tony’s blog he has been to some of the best pizzerias in NYC.

    Tony, are the pies you are looking to make more in-line with the NY Style pizzas sold at joints like Joe’s, Ray’s, Sal & Carmine’s, Artichoke, Joe & Pat’s (really happy you went to Staten Island to try it), etc….or more in line with the NY-Neapolitan places like Patsy’s and Totonno’s.

    Glad to see you will be making the fior-di-latte in house…..a slice from Joe’s or Pizza 33 needs to be ordered with the fresh mutz.

    Look, at the end of the day, there are over 2000 pizzerias in NYC. The premise that you can walk into a random joint in NYC and get a great pizza is complete BS because the great majority of the places in NYC (based on my limited experience) are like anywhere else…they serve crap pizza.
    Whatever you want to say about the water being a big factor , etc….from his blog this guy has been to most of the small amount of pizzerias serving slices and pies that are a definite cut above in NYC. That, coupled with the fact he will be doing stuff like making fior-di-latte in house shows some level of passion and enthusiasm which is truly genuine.

    I am very intrigued by the prospects here. Good luck the rest of the way –K

  13. GeorgeM

    Tony:

    As a former NYer, if you can make anything approximating the slices at Joe’s Pizza on Carmine Street or Ray’s Pizza on Prince Street (which may have to close due to an intra-family fight among the owners), in other words, nicely-charred thin-crusted pizza emphasizing the tomato sauce rather than the cheese (unlike the overrated pizza at Ray’s on Sixth Avenue and 11th Street which piles on the mozzarella), I will patronize your restaurant at least two or three times a week. Make us proud!

  14. asuka

    Mama Lucia’s does a great NY pizza. No locations in DC, but they are in Bethesda and Silver Spring.

  15. Tony

    I am hoping my pies will come out somewhere around between Joes, Bleecker Street Pizza and Di Fara’s. That is my GOAL!

    Thanks for all the support, it means a lot to me.

  16. Washington Cube

    Pizza schmeetcha. I’d rather have the Cellar Door back.

  17. Pingback: Forget About Fuhggetaboutit | The Georgetown Metropolitan

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