Mia's Pizza

I have been trying a lot of new restaurants in the last few months, and since they influence my attitudes towards cooking and eating (obviously), I hope to start reporting on these experiences more regularly. They won't be reviews, or at least not anything comprehensive or well-written enough to qualify as such!

After hearing about Mia's Pizza in Bethesda for awhile now, I had the perfect opportunity to try it out before a show at the nearby Music Center at Strathmore. There was some focaccia and meatball appetizers gobbled up before I arrived (not even an empty plate or crumb when I got there). Then we ordered the alsace pizza: pancetta, gruyere cheese, parmesan, caramelized onion & thyme. I think I could eat caramelized onions at every meal (so I should probably learn how to make them), and Mia's onions were my favorite part of the pizza.

This pizza, along with a handful of others at Mia's, comes without sauce. At first I didn't miss it much (I was pretty hungry!), but my boyfriend took the time to ask our waiter/the bartender if all the pizzas came sans sauce. Many do have sauce, the menu lists it if they do. D'oh! Guess we should have picked up on that. The pizza was good, but I will definitely order one with sauce next time. Three of us split the pie, but the guys had had appetizers (and I finished off the meal with dessert), and most people in there seemed to be ordering a pie a piece.

The pièce d'résistance of my meal was the challah chocolate chip bread pudding served with crème anglaise. Moist, but not soggy, chocolatey, but not overwhelming, this was some of the best bread pudding that I've ever had (after my mom's cranberry chocolate croissant pudding). It was served in a deep oval ramekin, which I am now coveting to recreate this recipe. I took the first bite without the sauce, but was told by a friendly server not to forgo it. I poured a little on at time, akin to my pancake syrup method, not wanting to over-sweeten what was already perfect. The sauce also cooled down the piping hot pudding. The chocolate chips were suspended throughout the whole serving, and the whole thing had the perfect amount of moisture without being soggy. There were a few wet spots and a few dry spots, but not too many to feel that the texture was inconsistent. It is bread pudding after all. I feel that I'm not describing it adequately, so if you live in DC, you should just go eat it. It will convert even those weary of bread pudding.

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