Nicoletta Italian Kitchen - Washington, DC
Taste Map posts are not reviews of the restaurant or the menu, but a more intentional dive into a singular dish.
I had the great privilege to dine and talk to the chefs/bartenders/managers of Nicoletta Italian Kitchen (NIK), a new DC neighborhood restaurant from the Altamarea Group + James Beard Award-Winning Chef Michael White. On the corner of 4th and I st. NW, DC the brand new Nicoletta Italian Kitchen is debuting their famous three-day fermented pizza dough to the public.
As with all great pizza, it starts with the foundation: the dough. After 25 different variations, the perfected three-day fermented pizza dough has a delightful sturdy and crisp texture with a more complex tastier crust. When the dough ferments, it allows the flavors to develop a more complex flavor. The acid plays an important role by adding more flavors and livens up the dish. This dough has a delicious nutty and a slight tangy taste that is similar to a sourdough bread, but is more balanced. (It is not sourdough bread.)
NIK’s dough starts with a starter that they have been using since their first Nicoletta, seven years ago. (Locations in New York City, New Jersey, Washington DC, and King of Prussia Mall) After the dough has been mixed and portioned into balls, they leave it at room temperature for some time to start the fermentation process. Then, they put the dough in the refrigerator for three days. This slows down the fermentation process, allowing more flavors to develop, and creating a sturdier, crispier crust.
With the sturdy and crisp crust, it allows the pie to have generous amount of toppings without flopping over.
The chef created the Calabrese Pizza which has thick cuts of pepperoni, fennel sausage, red onions, pomodoro sauce, and mozzarella cheese. Right out of the oven, this pizza was truly magnificent. The crust was airy, crispy, with slight tang at the end. The toppings were extremely generous yet the flavors were balanced. Not one ingredient overpowered another.
The famous 3-day fermented pizza dough.
Chef tossing the dough.
Chef adding Mozzarella cheese.
Chef adding the pomodoro sauce.
Thick cuts of pepperoni.
The glorious Calabrese Pizza: thick cut pepperoni, fennel sausage, red onion, pomodoro sauce, and Mozzarella cheese.
What: Nicoletta Italian Kitchen’s 3 day fermented pizza dough
Who: Nicoletta Italian Kitchen
Where: 901 4th St. NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Mt. Vernon Triangle)
When: Debuted 4/18/2019
Why: “In many ways Nicoletta Italian Kitchen celebrates the convivial spirit of the Italian community piazza I (Chef Michael White) grew up with, but adapted for the modern day. It is satisfying food you want to eat either in a hurry or over a few bottles of wine. We are delighted our clients’ feedback took us in this direction.” – Chef Michael White