Walk into Tigerella, Foggy Bottom’s all-day Italian restaurant tucked inside Western Market food hall, and you’ll immediately notice (or smell) some change as the aroma of pizza wafts into the air.
The front checkout area, where a morning-to-midday pastry counter used to be, is now outfitted with a double-decker bread oven used to make pizzas (2000 Pennsylvania Avenue NW). The team behind Mt. Pleasant’s acclaimed bakery Ellē debuted Tigerella’s cafe alongside the restaurant last July but struggled with existing breakfast competition, college students going on breaks, and office buildings remaining relatively desolate.
The pizza pivot and deletion of morning hours was dictated by customer foot traffic patterns, which have been higher in volume during lunch and dinner when its popular personal pies were available—and especially now, as news came last week that Tigerella will be included in this year’s Michelin guide. From testing to launch, it took about one month for the Tigerella team to expand its pizza menu, which officially debuts this week across the 90-seat restaurant. Full-service lunch and dinner runs 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.
To date, Tigerella’s pizza program has been under the direction of Vincent Falcone, who recently moved to West Virginia and is no longer with Tigerella. He helped open the restaurant with miniature deep-dish pizzas served in ’90s pans from Pizza Hut, but with much bolder flavors.
By far, the most popular order is Tigerella’s personal pickle pie that hits on several flavor profiles — from sweet to spicy to peppery and acidic.
For this next chapter, Tigerella taps Jacob Mosbrucker (chef de cuisine) and Jeremy Drysdale (sous chef and baker) to spearhead a revamped menu full of New York-style pies and slices-to-order—something that’s not so easy to find in D.C. (unless it’s Jumbo sized).
Tigerella kicks off the menu expansion with two new pies: a veggie-friendly mushroom with Aleppo pepper XO sauce, arugula, and Mornay cheese, and a prosciutto and pepper variety topped with fresh ricotta, basil, and olive oil.
The restaurant also debuts classic slices including cheese and pepperoni, with more inventive options made with white sauce and tempeh toppings coming soon.
That’s in addition to homemade pastas from sous chef Amanda Wotring, sandwiches (at lunch only), a parade of small plates, and a bar program overseen by beverage director Philip Fromyer.
To celebrate Tigerella’s bigger pizza party, look for weekly specials starting Monday, March 20 including half-priced oysters, beer and pizza combos, and an all-day happy hour at the bar on Mondays (normally 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays).