A pizza entrepreneur who has spent the better part of the past decade futzing with dough is bringing Southeast D.C. a slice stall she recently opened in a New York City food hall.
Slice Joint is the latest vendor to join the Roost, the food and beer hall that the esteemed Neighborhood Restaurant Group plans to open in Capitol Hill this spring. So in addition to retro German health food, butcher-created tacos, and a bevy of brews sourced by the beer expert behind Churchkey, future customers at the complex (1401 Pennsylvania Avenue SE) will be able to grab simple New York slices with thinly distributed mozzarella cheese and crunchy squares of grandma-style pie with pepperoni cups courtesy of Ezzo Sausage Co.
The shop comes from Rachael Marie, who opened her first Slice Joint inside the Market Line, a massive food hall in the Lower East Side that opened with an impressive vendor lineup in November. The Market Line also houses the Grand Delancey, the beer bar that represents the first foray out of the D.C. area for NRG, which boasts the Bluejacket brewery and the Sovereign beer hall in its portfolio.
Slice Joint serves a basic lineup of pizzas, with slices in NYC listed from $3.50 for cheese to $4 for pepperoni and $4.50 for squares or specials. Whole pies ($24 to $32) can be customized with additional toppings such as Calabrian chiles and anchovies. The first stall is open daily from lunch until late-night.
At the Market Line, Marie says she’s currently offering a special with ricotta and meatballs that are sourced from a colleague at the market. Another special she’s dubbed the Swayze (for Patrick) has double-smoked bacon, sausage mixed on-site, and peppers pickled by another market neighbor.
“I was thinking more Road House, because it comes with a punch,” Marie says.
One name on Marie’s résumé confers immediate respect from pizza experts: Roberta’s. After moving to New York from Iowa, Marie spent four years at the iconic Brooklyn shop known for making its own mozzarella and sourcing exquisite produce to top on thin, charred pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven. She also worked at wood-burning Fortina with chef-owner Christian Petroni, who went on to win Food Network Star. Slice Joint uses deck ovens to replicate a classic New York crust.
Marie has been making pizza since her college days at the University of Iowa, when she worked at Wedge pizzeria in Iowa City. She says she enjoys how details like how the dough is stretched and how much it’s fermented make a seemingly simple product so complex.
“You’re only making the same thing really,” she says. “You can put a lot of love and technique into it, and every pizzaiolo, they have the way they like to do things because it’s the way they like pizza.”
The main New York-style competitor for Slice Joint will be Spike Mendelsohn’s We the Pizza nearby. Wiseguy has an outpost not far away, in Navy Yard, and Andy’s Pizza has recently brought a strong version of thin slices to Tysons Galleria and the new Echo Park bar in Shaw.
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