I grew up near New Haven, CT, so New Haven-style pizza holds a very special place in my heart. New Haven-style pizza (affectionately termed "apizza") is a style of Neapolitan pizza that originated in, you guessed it, New Haven--specifically at Frank Pepe's Napoletana Pizzeria. New Haven-style pizza has a thin crust that blackens and bubbles because of the temperature of the stone oven, leaving the crust crispy on the outside and deliciously chewy on the inside. Also, "apizza" usually has few ingredients/toppings, which lets that crust shine through.
Pete's has a great vibe and a casual set-up. You order and pay at the front counter and get a number to put at your table, where the waiter will deliver your pies hot out of the oven. There's also outdoor seating, which is a huge plus in the spring and summer.
The service is speedy and efficient, something that I believe is essential at any good restaurant. We started off our meal with a delicious arugula side salad dressed in a simple vinaigrette, grated parmesan cheese, and crunchy croutons. Then came the pizza. We ordered three pies (there were five of us, and we all like to eat). The first was a large pizza with peppers, caramelized onions, and sweet sausage.
For the other two pies, we went for a gluten-free crust made from chickpea flour, rice flour, and tapioca starch. One pie was a white pizza with lots of arugula, TONS of cheese, onions, and garden tomatoes. The second was a margarita with pepperoni.
The large regular crust pizza was delicious, and was clearly made from the freshest ingredients. While I don't think it quite stacks up to Pepe's, it's almost there. I'd give it an 8.5 out of 10 (10 = Pepe's). The gluten free pies were also a hit. The crust was slightly nutty and totally different from any other pizza I had ever tried. Surprisingly, I think that I liked the arugula pizza the best...which is shocking because I love pepperoni. The arugula, onion, and garden tomato combination was a home run in my book, and it was a unique combination for a pizza which I appreciate.
Overall, I loved Pete's vibe and I think that it is definitely some of the best pizza in DC. It's not as good as 2Amys or Il Canale, but it's definitely delicious. Pete's is reasonably priced and is also a great spot for dining with vegans (they've got a vegan cheese substitute), vegetarians, gluten-free friends, and picky eaters. All around great meal and great atmosphere. I'll be back.
Visit Pete's at one of their four locations. Get more information about their locations at http://petesapizza.com/