Brookland's Best

Menomale Pizza and Beer in Brookland, DC

Menomalé, which translates to "thank goodness," has taken the words right out of its neighbors' mouths.

The Neapolitan-style pizza joint is just getting started, but is already luring diners to the previously overlooked area of Brookland.

The attraction is perfectly understandable. Pizzaiolo Ettore Rusciano embellishes his wood-fired pies with only the most pedigreed Italian ingredients.

Fragrant San Marzano tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, grassy olive oil and black olives perk up the Caputo 00 dough. In DOP-certified style, Rusciano scorches the bottom of his pies, giving them a crisp base, slightly bubbly edges and a flexible spine.

Verde calzone ($11) oozes herbaceous basil pesto, melting ricotta and snappy salami through cracks in the folded dough. Pizza crust also bookends panuozzi, the fluffy sandwiches filled with crumbling sausage ($8) smoked salmon ($9) or rosemary chicken ($9).

Skip wine in favor of the carefully curated brew from self-proclaimed beer nerd Leland Estes. His bar stocks 20 taps pouring Cockeyed Cooper ($11), a caramelly barleywine, the sour Flemish red ale Duchesse de Bourgogne ($11) and Two Gypsies Our Side, a citrusy saison collaboration between Stillwater and Mikkeller ($8.50) that is the ideal warm-weather drink.

Menomalé, 2711 12th St. NE (at Franklin St.); 202-248-3946 or menomale.us