‘Seventh Hill Pizza’
courtesy of ‘kspidel’
Last summer, in a fit of humidity-induced insanity, my friends and I decided to taste test non-delivery pizzas around town. There were seven pies, and in an attempt to branch out a little, I picked up one from Seventh Hill. I figured this Eastern Market spot (which no one had heard of before) would finish somewhere in the middle of the pack with perennial favorite 2 Amy’s coming out on top. In a Cinderella story that ESPN would surely have composed a specific theme song for, Seventh Hill came out of nowhere and clinched the win.
I don’t live near Eastern Market, but between working near by and friends in the area, I spend a lot of time eating on Capitol Hill. And time after time, I come back to Seventh Hill. It is a perfect little neighborhood joint, with just a few tables and friendly staff, a small menu and a couple daily specials, it’s a restaurant I never get tired of. Owned by the folks behind French bistro and next door neighbor Montmartre, it wouldn’t seem like a French team would know much about pizza, but they surely do. The stones that make up the oven — the architectural center of the restaurant — are imported from France, but the cooking is all Italian. Chef Anthony Pilla (only 24-years old!) makes a spectacle of his pie making, swiftly tossing dough in the air with the greatest of ease.
courtesy of ‘jsmjr’
As I said, the menu is small, but I’ve yet to find anything I haven’t loved. As a girl who normally specifies that her pizza be “anything with meat” it’s pretty amazing that my favorite Seventh Hill pizza is all veggie. The Lincoln Park has zucchini, artichoke, portobello mushrooms, mozzarella and rosemary, a nice woody pizza that won’t leave you feeling like you just slathered baby oil all over your face. And though most of the specialty pizzas are meatless, when I’ve got a craving for something porcine I head for the Seventh Street — a salty prosciutto and roasted red pepper concoction. My final favorite, besides you know, all of them, is the Eastern Market. I’ve never seen a pizza with mushroom and olive tapenade and goat cheese before, but somehow it works.
Besides the small menu of speciality pizzas and the obligatory make-your-own list, there is usually a daily special of a pizza, a panini and a soup. Displayed on a chalkboard inside the restaurant, you can expect rustic soups and delicious, melty sandwiches. Splitting a small pizza and a panini with a friend is a great way to do Seventh Hill, especially since it leaves room in your tummy for the piece de resistance— the nutella calzone. It’s exactly how it sounds — Seventh Hill’s delicious dough wrapped around a healthy (ha!) shmear of nutella and fired in their brick oven. Served simply on a wood board dusted with powdered sugar, it is a gooey, messy, life-changing dessert.
‘Seventh Hill Pizza’
courtesy of ‘kspidel’
Seventh Hill may be just a tiny neighborhood restaurant, but it passes my time-honored test of “would I drive across town for it?” And I do, often. If you get there and there’s a line, don’t be deterred. Most of the orders seem to be carry out, and the guys behind the counter are quick. Now that the weather is starting to turn for the better, I can’t wait to spend some more time on their patio, munching my nutella calzone in a state of bliss. I don’t do yoga, I’ve never meditated, but I do eat pizza. Namaste.
Seventh Hill Pizza is located at 327 7th St. SE. The closest Metro station is Eastern Market (Orange/Blue Lines). For more information, call 202-544-1911.
I’ve never had the pizza at Seventh Hill because I can’t get past the Italian sandwich. They take a ball of pizza dough, fold it, bake it, slice it open, and stuff it with all sortsa great stuff like cappicola and prosciutto and mozzarella. The thing is huge and a steal for $8. One of the best deals on the Hill.
I absolutely love the pizza at Seventh Hill! And the staff is awesome too.
I really don’t think 7th Hill is deserving of the hype. Anyone can dump a bunch of fancy toppings on a crust (especially when they’re charging an arm and a leg for it), but the real talent lies in constructing a crust that can support said toppings. In this respect, 7th Hill is a complete and utter failure.
I know I’m hardly being original by criticizing DC pizza (and yes, I am from New Jersey), but you can do much better on the Hill. Believe it or not, Tunicliff’s up the street turns out a pretty decent pie.