Dough Nuts

Wood-fired Pizzas at Il Canale in Georgetown

This industrial-chic Italian restaurant is artfully arranged around its massive wood-burning oven, situated just inside the entry.

Il Canale's menu stocks Italian standards, like a daily risotto and grilled Florentine-style steak, but take a cue from the large, fire-breathing elephant in the room and order one of the pizzas.

The menu separates the thin-crust pizzas into tomato-based (rosse) and sauceless white (bianche) pies. There are nearly 20 on the menu, most topped with creamy slices of imported mozzarella di bufala.

Winning topping combinations include the Salentina ($14), a rich blend of bufala ricotta and fresh and smoked mozzarella, and the well-sauced Puttanesca ($12), which gets its bite from a liberal spread of anchovies, olives and capers.

The kitchen keeps its dough traditional. The recipe is a simple combination of flour, salt and yeast left to rise overnight for perfect texture. A dedicated pizzaiolo (from Napoli) bakes each pie in the 900° oven for just over a minute, giving the base the slightest amount of char while the crust remains soft and doughy.

The dough prowess extends beyond pies: The top dessert is zeppole ($12), sweet fried dough topped with a boozy, frothy zabaglione sauce.

Il Canale, 1061 31st St. NW (between K and M sts.); 202-337-4444