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Tim Carman Finds Love at First Bite at Pizza CS in Rockville

Plus, reviews of Kapnos Kouzina and Oklahoma Joe's

Pizza CS
Pizza CS

Tim Carman goes to Pizza CS for his $20 Diner column in the Washington Post. Owners Ankur Rajpara and Jonathan Allen opened the pizzeria on Rockville Pike about five years ago. The restaurant remains devoted to Neapolitan pizza and offers only a few salads and specials. The critic writes:

"Now a certified member of Associazione Pizzaiuoli Napoletani America, Rajpara exhibits deep respect for the history and craft of Neapolitan pizza, which was evident in the first pie I ordered at this strip-center storefront: a beautifully baked round, at once smoky and elastic, the fresh tomato sauce dappled with crumbly, fennel-laced sausage, roasted red peppers, just-wilted basil and dollops of buffalo mozzarella. It was love at first bite."

Carman does find some inconsistencies during the baking process, but he still enjoys a few favorite pies like the CS Margherita Extra the Rocket, The Milano, and The Moto. He even likes the Nutella dessert pizza despite his prejudices against such dining clichés. [WaPo]

Nevin Martell files a review of Kapnos Kouzina for DC Modern Luxury. The new Mike Isabella restaurant in Bethesda follows in the footsteps of Kapnos on 14th Street, so the menu offers a similar range of spreads. But there are also several new dishes like the fried chicken that Martell considers a must-order dish. He also approves of other new Greek options on the menu. He writes:

"Fresh additions include pyde, open-faced, canoe-shaped flatbreads. A relative of the recently trendy Turkish pide, these are lighter than their cheese-heavy cousins. The crust of my favorite is slathered with tzatziki and crowned with crab, diced avocado and chiles for a hit of heat. Another welcome newcomer is the deftly charred salmon kebabs accompanied by a springy, slightly sweet slaw." [DCML]

Laura Hayes tries new barbecue restaurant Oklahoma Joe’s in Merrifield for the First Taste column in Arlington Magazine. She writes:

"The restaurant is often shortened to "OK Joe’s," and that’s exactly what it is — okay. Sadly, there’s no romance or honky-tonk charm at the counter service restaurant. And, most importantly, there’s little sign of barbecue’s most vital ingredient — smoke."

Although she confirmed the presence of a smoker on a the premises, the smoked potato is strangely devoid of any hickory flavor. The same could be said for the brisket that has more in common with pot roast than barbecue. There's on bright spot: Oklahoma Joe's is known for their ribs, and they delivered in that regard. [Arlington]

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