Spike Mendelsohn opens up his second restaurant in the district called “We, The Pizza,” featuring unique pies for Washingtonians. We got an exclusive interview with the Top Chef contestant!
Our restaurant group specializes in providing customers with American comfort food within a fun, hip atmosphere. Our healthy ways and environmentally friendly policies enable us to give customers the very best of their favorite foods.
Capitol Hill is awash in pizza joints these days. What makes yours different?
We thought we’d create a “meeting of the minds” so to speak between an upscale Italian restaurant and a pizza by the slice restaurant. We’re giving customers pizza by the slice but also selling whole pies, Italian sandwiches, gourmet wings, homemade gelato and Italian sodas. I think what sets us apart is that you can come in, hang out with friends, share some pies and beers, but also celebrate anniversaries, birthdays, have fundraisers. We’re upscale without being stuffy and everyday without being grungy. The most of all what makes us different is our highlight of our community organizations. That’s what we wanted to achieve with this restaurant. Look around you, check into your community, you can make a difference in the lives of a lot of people. We chose to highlight four partnerships that I’ve worked on the last two years when I moved to DC and that we continue to support in various ways. Their images are in We, The Pizza in the hopes that customers will be inspired to help their own organization or one of ours. Horton’s Kids, DC Central Kitchen, KIPP Academy, and Plant A Billion Trees. All are awe-inspiring.
Is it the crust or toppings that really make the pizza?
Combination. The crust I was going for was NY style meets DC style then it turned into Spike style! Combo of both. My partner, chef Michael Colletti and I took a scientific approach to the crust (dough rising, yeast, water, salt ratio, sitting times, etc.) to come up with a medium crust that isn’t soggy but a little crunchy. It’s got awesome toppings, things I haven’t seen anywhere before and I think that’s really going to be fun for people. We also approached the toppings in a chef-y way and I hope people appreciate that.
Is there a pizza reality TV in the making?
No! But there should be…that would be AWESOME. Can I be the judge…I love that – can we pitch Bravo?
Is there dough in the dough?
Everything is what you make of it. Our restaurants focus on quality, local farmers, and environmentally friendly practices, so we give a little more but in the end it even outs and of course I think we get a lot more from it. It allows us to give back to our community everyday.
What’s your favorite kind of pizza?
I’m simple! Homeslice of cheese pizza…heaven.
Growing up, what kind of pizza did you eat?
My grandfather ran an Italian restaurant for years in Montreal and my parents opened one in Spain for a while. So I ate it all…cheese and sometimes when I was daring, pepperoni!
We, The Pizza is located on 303 Pennsylvania Avenue, Southeast DC. Phone: 202.544.4008.