Pizza Vinoteca: The Hawaiian (CLOSED)

The Hawaiian

Say aloha to Ballston’s new pizza and wine mecca because The Best Thing on the Menu will change your perspective on Hawaiian pizza. Pizza Vinoteca’s take on the pie that typically gets left behind at parties boasts mozzarella, prosciutto, pineapple and spicy Fresno peppers. Tropical paradise, however, comes from a secret weapon not listed on the menu: a vanilla sherry glaze. The sugary addition can point out a cavity in your mouth though, so arugula is added for a tempering, peppery bite.

Oven

The pizza at Pizza Vinoteca is unique for other reasons too. It’s cooked to completion in near minutes thanks to an 800 degree grill. In fact, a trip into the kitchen leaves you covering your eyebrows for fear they’ll burn right off. In order to ensure the dough can stand up to such high temps, the team in the kitchen adds red wine to the dough. They certainly have enough of it on hand (we’ll get to that). See if you can decipher a slight purple hue before you dig in to The Hawaiian or any of their other eight speciality pizzas.

Wines by the Glass

Pair any of Pizza Vinoteca’s fare with 36 wines offered by the glass. It gets better. They’re available by 3oz or 5oz pours and none surpass a price tag of $10. Because of CEO Ari Malcolm’s goal to make wine more accessible (read: affordable), you won’t find a lot of recognizable wine labels or even wine regions. Take this as an opportunity to explore. We like the Grüner Veltliner and Zweigelt from Austria.

Bomboloni

Dessert is a must because, well, bombolonis. These Tuscan-style doughnuts come in five flavors like Mexican chocolate, and are only $2 each.

Pizza Vinoteca is located at 800 N Glebe Road in Arlington, and they deliver within a three-mile radius. 

The Hawaiian not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm: Smoked Beef Ribeye

Smoked Beef Ribeye

If you’re in need of an escape from all things urban – where sirens are replaced with the hum of bugs rubbing their wings together – we’ve got the prescription: The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, Va. It’s been on our bucket list for good reason: The setting is farm chic; the view is breathtaking; and when the plates hit the table, you’ll think about food in a new way. The man in the kitchen, Chef Tarver King, came to Patowmack Farm from The Ashby Inn. In his new setting, he’s laser-focused on squeezing every ounce of awesome from the ingredients that either come from the 40-acre farm, or from within 100 miles.

Only 11 acres, however, are sewn with crops in an organized fashion. The other 29 are wild, allowing King to forage for fun ingredients that don’t always make it onto most restaurants’ menus. These treasures keynote one of the restaurant’s three tasting menus – “Found.” There is also a “Grown” menu showcasing produce (but not vegetarian) and “Raised” featuring two and four-legged friends. We explored “Found,” and “Raised,” and can’t wait to go back for “Grown.”

Raised is responsible for The Best Thing on the Menu: Smoked Beef Ribeye with celeriac, stilton, beer & oat cracker and mulberry vinegar. Tender beef that barely shook hands with the pan is super smoky and marbled with just the right amount of fat. The meat hails from Martin’s Angus Beef in The Plains, Va., where the cattle dine only on grass and grain grown on the farm.

Oyster dish

A stunner from the “Found” menu was a bowl containing barnstable oysters, stinging nettles, buttered rice dashi, oyster mushrooms and chèvre. Stinging what? For years (okay, until today) we thought stinging nettles were in the squid family. Rather, it’s Europe’s poison ivy and we’re brazen enough to eat it. If prepared properly (we understand it involves careful blanching and shocking), the plant can have some medicinal benefits and the texture is quite fun. The dish as a whole tastes like briny oysters suspended in the best butter you’ve ever encountered. 

If you visit, try to get a few minutes with the owner, Beverly Morton. She bought the farm back in the 1980s with the humble goal of growing wholesome food for her kids. Over the years, she’s collected some fantastic stories, like when her live turkeys snuck down to a Thanksgiving feast to peer through the windows at their not so lucky friends.  “Hey Earl, is that you? You made the cut this year?” She jokes.

Click here for more pictures from the meal.

The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm is located at 42461 Lovettsville Rd, Lovettsville, VA.

You might also like Gypsy Soul, Blue Duck Tavern or Restaurant Nora.