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Pizza Bomb Dropped on 14 UP, The Return of Pizzaiolo Edan Macquaid - Not Opening

U Street 14 UP Pizza Pizza Napoletana Not Opening

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#1 DonRocks

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:27 PM

I've been sitting on this story for awhile, but now that Prince of Petworth has been on the scent (you have to give them credit - they are really on the ball!), here's the official story:

As many of you know, Edan Macquaid (our own "pizza man") made his name working as pizzaiolo at 2 Amys for many years. Then, in early, 2008, this buzzy story fixated all eyes on downtown Falls Church, and for a brief, glorious moment in time, Pizzeria Orso became THE pizza destination in the Washington, DC area (all the while, with Enzo Algarme at Pupatella steadily climbing the ladder which he continues to ascend to this very day). The glory days at Orso didn't last long, however, as much of the kitchen staff was dismissed, and the concept simplified (it's still very good, by the way).

At that point, Edan - from my viewpoint - became somewhat adrift, not willing to settle for anything less than his talents deserved (Edan, I know the feeling, brother, and I'm drifting right out there with you). He consulted, and continues to consult, for Local 16. One look at the Aden can pretty much tell you what Edan (a pun?) was able to do there. I went a couple of months ago, on a quiet Sunday evening when Edan wasn't working, and got that very same Aden which had magnificent crust, even though I could tell the master had not been manning the oven on that evening.

Aman Ayoubi, an equity owner of Local 16, has had the lease on 1832 14th. Street for awhile now. As wise owners often do, he prefers to stay in the background (are you paying attention, Dan Snyder?), and is letting Edan Macquaid be the public workhorse behind the new, downscale pizzeria opening up in that space. The restaurant does not yet have a name, but it will not be Local 14.

This will be a casual, dive kind of place with a wood-fired oven. The bottom floor will have a carpet store; the top two will have a dining room, possibly a balcony over 14th, and an open kitchen, bar, and small rooftop on the third floor.

Food wise, the menu is forming as 4-5 pizze, and a small menu of constantly changing items. They are hoping to have the oven built on site (3rd floor) by Napolitan builders, and are also discussing the possibility of a wood grill. There will be no gas appliances or lines running into the building. In Edan's own words, "All fire, baby!"

Edan will be in the kitchen during most (if not all) operating hours. It's looking like 55-70 seats, probably on the lower end of that range. And they'll be doing it on the cheap, so the draw here won't be the interior design; it will be the pizzas themselves. This restaurant will be all about the pizza, and this is exactly the characteristic that could vault this restaurant into national recognition which is exactly what Edan Macquaid's talents deserve to have.

Congratulations to everyone, and good luck to Mr. Ayoubi and the whole team involved in the development of this exciting concept. And hopefully, one day, it will be goodbye forever, jumbo slice!

Cheers,
Rocks

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#2 DPop

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:36 PM

Absolutely fantastic news. That little corner down to Thomas Circle is becoming quite the food destination in DC.....

#3 weezy

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 02:57 PM

Congrats to Pizzaman on his new venture

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#4 ktmoomau

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:30 PM

So excited! sounds like just my type of place.

But I learned fast how to keep my head up 'cause I
Know I got this side of me that
Wants to grab the yoke from the pilot and just
Fly the whole mess into the sea. The Shins
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#5 chiefdc

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 03:49 PM

Awesome, awesome news! One question, and one shameless request. First- is the first floor really going to be a carpet store? Second- as a nearby resident, I actually WANT this to be open til 3 am. I believe they have the full hours on their liquor license (might as well put it to use, right?), so I hope they stay open as a bar as Pilar does. As Pilar and St. Ex show, that doesn't preclude being taken seriously as a food destination. There aren't enough bars on this section of 14th, leading to long lines at the few there are.

#6 lion

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 09:32 PM

Looking forward to the new place!

#7 Liza

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Posted 16 January 2012 - 09:27 PM

Do you know what the timeline is for opening?

#8 pizza man

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:31 AM

Hi. Figured it was time for me to chime in here.. Not sure what else can really be said, except that I am indeed excited about this partnership and project. It's right where it always should have been, and I have control of my own concept and menu.

Looking forward to seeing what else besides pizza we can produce with the oven, ( I will be baking my own bread) and just having fun in the kitchen.

As for the timeline; It will be a few months yet..

I'll try to keep you all posted as things progress..

Rutted gob buster.  I will deny you..


#9 DonRocks

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:13 PM

Hi. Figured it was time for me to chime in here.. Not sure what else can really be said, except that I am indeed excited about this partnership and project. It's right where it always should have been, and I have control of my own concept and menu.

Looking forward to seeing what else besides pizza we can produce with the oven, ( I will be baking my own bread) and just having fun in the kitchen.

As for the timeline; It will be a few months yet..

I'll try to keep you all posted as things progress..

 

Hey! 

 

Can you tell us any details now, other than that it's Floors on 14th?

 

I don't know where you are right this moment, but we could sure use you around these parts.

 

Although the pizza scene in the DC area has never been deeper, I'm not sure we have any truly world-class pizzerias right now.

 

No offense to Enzo, Jonathan, Peter, or anyone else producing outstanding pizzas (and they are outstanding), but there seems to be at least one thing missing from every single pizzeria in town right now.


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#10 Marty L.

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 05:35 AM

Hey! 

 

Can you tell us any details now, other than that it's Floors on 14th?

 

I don't know where you are right this moment, but we could sure use you around these parts.

 

Although the pizza scene in the DC area has never been deeper, I'm not sure we have any truly world-class pizzerias right now.

 

No offense to Enzo, Jonathan, Peter, or anyone else producing outstanding pizzas (and they are outstanding), but there seems to be at least one thing missing from every single pizzeria in town right now.

 

If you mean that the one thing missing is Edan, he's only a hop, skip and jump away.  

 

On the merits -- Don, do you think something has changed for the worse at 2 Amys, Ghibellina, and Pupatella; or simply that none of them has ever reached "world-class" status?  If the latter, what's your metric?  Bianco?  DiFara's?



#11 DonRocks

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 11:27 AM

If you mean that the one thing missing is Edan, he's only a hop, skip and jump away.  

 

On the merits -- Don, do you think something has changed for the worse at 2 Amys, Ghibellina, and Pupatella; or simply that none of them has ever reached "world-class" status?  If the latter, what's your metric?  Bianco?  DiFara's?

 

The latter, and yes, I was thinking of Bianco circa 2005 as one of my benchmarks. 

 

2 Amys hasn't been the same since Edan left, Ghibellina is outstanding but I'm not sure I'd call it "one of the best in the world," and Pupatella has become less consistent due to the simple fact that Enzo and Anastasia have had a family, and simply don't have as much time to obsess about it as they used to. They're *all* great, even outstanding; but just as I feel we don't have any Michelin 3-star restaurants (yet), I don't think we have any truly world-class pizzerias.


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#12 Marty L.

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 12:16 PM

OK, I think we can live with three merely "outstanding" pizzerias, even if they are not (and don't really aspire to be) Bianco circa 2005!

 

The latter, and yes, I was thinking of Bianco circa 2005 as one of my benchmarks. 

 

2 Amys hasn't been the same since Edan left, Ghibellina is outstanding but I'm not sure I'd call it "one of the best in the world," and Pupatella has become less consistent due to the simple fact that Enzo and Anastasia have had a family, and simply don't have as much time to obsess about it as they used to. They're *all* great, even outstanding; but just as I feel we don't have any Michelin 3-star restaurants (yet), I don't think we have any truly world-class pizzerias.


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#13 Jonathan

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 05:32 PM

Was Orso world-class? What about Range?

 

2 amys is a wonderful restaurant that helped usher in Neapolitan pizza to this area. But it's charms, and there are many, have never really been their pizzas. It's all in their small plates at the wine bar, their amazingly affordable wines, their gracious servers and bartenders.

 

While I won't apologize for not serving "world-class" pizzas, I do think that what we are doing at Ghibellina is filled with love, care and thought. Try our finnochiona pizza, with shaved fennel, fennel salami, tomato confit, and olivata...you are not finding that anywhere...not Bianco, not Franny's (where I learned the craft), not in Naples either. And it is a stunner.

 

Our dough undergoes a 2-3 day fermentation. It's made with minimal ingredients. I don't adhere to AVP or APN or DOC or whatever alphabet agency looks over the P-I-Z-Z-A.

 

And at the end of the day, Ghibellina, is not a pizzeria (for better and for worse). We have a multitude of other stuff on our menu that we put as much love, care and attention to as our pizzas. But at the end of the day, we aren't able to be as focused as a place like Bianco or Paulie Gee's or Franny's.


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#14 darkstar965

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 06:22 PM

Was Orso world-class? What about Range?
 
...
 
While I won't apologize for not serving "world-class" pizzas, I do think that what we are doing at Ghibellina is filled with love, care and thought. Try our finnochiona pizza, with shaved fennel, fennel salami, tomato confit, and olivata...you are not finding that anywhere...not Bianco, not Franny's (where I learned the craft), not in Naples either. And it is a stunner.
 
Our dough undergoes a 2-3 day fermentation. It's made with minimal ingredients. I don't adhere to AVP or APN or DOC or whatever alphabet agency looks over the P-I-Z-Z-A.
 
And at the end of the day, Ghibellina, is not a pizzeria (for better and for worse). We have a multitude of other stuff on our menu that we put as much love, care and attention to as our pizzas. But at the end of the day, we aren't able to be as focused as a place like Bianco or Paulie Gee's or Franny's.


LOVE the entire post. But, it's the excerpted part that makes me regret a bit we decided to cook at home tonight. See you soon, Chef. And, please keep doing WHAT you're doing and HOW you and your team are doing it.

#15 DonRocks

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 06:24 PM

Was Orso world-class? What about Range?

 

2 amys is a wonderful restaurant that helped usher in Neapolitan pizza to this area. But it's charms, and there are many, have never really been their pizzas. It's all in their small plates at the wine bar, their amazingly affordable wines, their gracious servers and bartenders.

 

2 Amys had incredible pizza when it first opened - it *became* a restaurant with a reputation for small plates. I just got back from Napa, and there's a somewhat similar restaurant there called Oenotri - try it sometime, and you'll see why the "small plates" aspect of 2 Amys is very overplayed.

 

Range could not have had world-class pizza because of its oven; Orso and Pupatella because of their ingredients. 

 

Please also remember that I was (I *think*) the very first writer to rave about Ghibellina's pizza.


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#16 darkstar965

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Posted 10 March 2015 - 06:29 PM

2 Amys had incredible pizza when it first opened - it *became* a restaurant with a reputation for small plates. I just got back from Napa, and there's a somewhat similar restaurant there called Oenotri - try it sometime, and you'll see why the "small plates" aspect of 2 Amys is very overplayed.

 

Range could not have had world-class pizza because of its oven; Orso and Pupatella because of their ingredients. 

 

Please also remember that I was (I *think*) the very first writer to rave about Ghibellina's pizza.

 

What do you feel has declined with the 2Amys pie? While I'm also a big fan of Edan's, it seems very consistent with ten years ago to me with just the occasional aberration if someone is impatient or distracted at the oven. Agree on Range. Never made it to Orso.







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