Daniela Moreira, the chef at Timber in D.C., gleans inspiration from pizza places old and new.
At Timber Pizza Company in Washington D.C., chef Daniela Moreira—an Argentina native who had a fine-dining stint Eleven Madison Park—makes pies that she likes to call “Neopolitan-ish.” They’re wood-fired but cooked at 750 to 800 degrees, significantly lower than the 905 degrees required by the Vera Pizza Napoletana Association to make traditional Neapolitan pizza. When you pick up a slice of Timber pizza, it’s crispy rather than soggy-bottomed. And the dough itself, created by the restaurant's co-founder Andrew Dana, is made with high-gluten flour to elicit a bagel-like texture in the final product.
Before Moreira, Dana, and the Timber team settled on their own unique pizza-making methods, they taste-tested some of the country’s best pies. Although Moreira still wants to check out the pizza scenes in Chicago and Los Angeles, she shared her four favorite spots for pizza around the country.
“I came to D.C. eight years ago looking for Argentinian ingredients. This place Vace had dulce de leche and alfajores, so I went there – it was this mixture of Argentinian and Italian, like an Italian deli. I kind of forgot about that place, and then when I met Andrew, he said Vace is his favorite place for pizza. I didn’t even realize they had pizza. They have these huge pies with cheese on the bottom and then drizzled sauce on top. It’s a unique style, big slices. My favorite there is just a slice of cheese pizza.”
“On my most recent trip to New York City, we went to Scarr’s Pizza and I loved it. Pepperoni pizza. New York style. Big slices. Cooked in a deck oven. And the place is amazing, too. It’s super tiny and you go in and they have this back place and it’s so cute.”
“I love the flavors. The sauce. The sauce is my favorite there. I love that they do huge branches of basil on top. It’s not like one piece of basil per slice; they just put the whole thing of basil. The dough is super good, too. It’s thin and crispy. You can pick it up and it’s not soggy on the bottom.”
“Before opening Timber, we did a pizza tour in New York, and Roberta’s was the last place that we went. Roberta’s is just a fun place to hang out. I love the oven outside. I love that they have the radio there and the pizza combinations. I love the honey on the pie. And I also like that you can order pasta and all of the sides.”
When it comes to Moreira's all-time favorite toppings, there's one traditional Argentinian combination that she hasn’t yet found in the U.S.: ham and hearts of palm. But you never know, that exact combo might find its way onto one of Timber’s fall pies.