Dining Out: All Purpose Pizzeria

All Purpose Pizzeria is a great place to try in the District for pizza and other Italian fare. Last week, I went with 11 friends to the business’ Capitol Riverfront location by the Nationals baseball park. The restaurant can be a little tricky to find as it faces the river not the street (the clue’s in the name) so anyone going needs to walk past the Salt Line restaurant toward the water, then they’ll see All Purpose.

We ordered a lot of food between us, so I’ll just focus on what I ate. Everything was incredibly high quality, and served by very knowledgeable servers who worked with my friends on their options and talked at depth about the dishes rather than just repeating a script. The service was one of many positive reasons why I’ll be returning here in a hurry.

Two friends and I split a starter of fried Brussels sprouts — and this was a big deal for me as Brussels sprouts are a staple side my parents serve with every Christmas dinner, and one I swiftly ignore. But next festive season I might have to give them a whirl, because I enjoyed the buds at All Purpose. They’re served with lemon, togarashi (chili pepper), tahini sauce, toasted sesame, and chive. Fantastic.

For the entree I ordered the Apollonia pizza: tomato, mozzarella, what the restaurant calls “old-school meatballs,” red onion, basil, and pepperoncini. A hefty portion that I couldn’t finish, which meant pizza for lunch the next day.

While the Italian food is the leading cast member, give some love to the supporting performers in desserts. All Purpose’s deft kitchen skills are on show again for the last round, with an impressive array of high sugar and highly irresistible dishes. A few of us decided to divide and conquer the brownie; a delicious treat served with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

When we got the check, all of us were pleasantly surprised at the low expense despite the large volume and top notch quality of the food. I’m yet to try the restaurant’s Shaw location, but it’s now on my to-do list.

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