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Menomale-a preview

msjess | Apr 22, 2012 11:09 AM

First off a disclose, I was invited to the "friends and family" preview because I know the owner.

Menomale is a new Neapolitan pizzeria in the Brookland/Rhode island avenue neighborhood. The first thing you see when you walk in the door is their huge brick oven that can cook a pizza in less than a minute and two pizzaolos making pizza. You round the corner to see a small cozy restaurant and bar. The bartender is a self professed "beer nerd" and serves all kinds of unusual brews such as Japanese wit beer, florin sours. They also plan to serve wine and mixed drinks but they haven't gotten all the t 's crossed and i's dotted on the liquor licence.

For dinner we sampled their margarita pizza which is a great exercise in simplicity- a dough made from bread, salt, water and air, sauce made from marzano tomatoes and salt, topped with a restrained amount of buffalo mozzarella, basil and (at my behest) a sprinkling of Parmesan and chopped garlic. When the restaurant opens they will have more topping options including different cheese (after I had sung the praises of ricotta on pizza), vegetables and smoked meats. Since one of the owners is vegan they also had a pretty decent vegan cheese option. My one complaint is that they might want to hold off on the sauce a little so the pizza is less soggy. The flavors were delcious, the crust was chewy, sauce was sweet but not overly so and the garlic added a great bit.

Besides pizza the Menomale plans to serve salads, calzones, brick oven sandwich and deserts. They are working on the final details as well as getting a liquor licence so they hope to be open within a month.

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