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Prom, Pizza, and Cupcakes

May 27, 2008

Mia’s Pizza
4926 Cordell Avenue Bethesda, Md. 20814
Nearest Metro: Bethesda

The Washington, D.C. region has suddenly become a hotbed of upscale pizza places. Whether it’s the Zagat rated Pizza Paradiso, 2Amys featuring Neapolitan pizzas, or Matchbox’s brick oven New York style pizzas, options are aplenty. The field has only gotten more crowded with the additions of Comet Ping Pong pizza and the brand new Pete’s aPizza.

Pete’s take…

For our first review we decided to dine at Mia’s Pizza’s in Bethesda. Mia’s is the brainchild of Melissa Ballinger, formerly of the previously mentioned Pizza Paradiso. Seated on the patio enjoying the view of high schoolers sharply dressed and eagerly awaiting their proms I got to enjoy my first glass of Samuel Adams Summer Ale this year while Erin got herself a glass of Syrah off the wine list. While the beer selection was a bit limited (unlike at Pizza Paradiso) Mia’s definitely gets props for wisely having Sammy Summer on tap.

Initially looking at the menu I was excited at the prospect of ordering deviled eggs, which I love but you hardly ever see them on restaurant menus. However, when our Crocs wearing waitress came around to take our orders we had decided to split the meatball sliders starter and I chose to order the Alsace pizza, which was topped with caramelized onions, pancetta, and gruyere cheese. The service was fast and our sliders were served promptly. Although we both agreed that the sliders had too much bread, the meatball itself is solid. At first it may seem bland but there is a nice spicy kick to the meatballs that left me satisfied and eagerly awaiting the pièce de résistance.

Right after our pizzas arrived the waitress grated fresh parmesan generously over the well proportioned personal pizza that comes sliced into four pieces. I had read in other reviews that the pizza was sometimes undercooked at Mia’s, I found this to not be true. The pizza had just the right amount of char and to me the crust was the right mix of chewy and crispy. The flavors of the cheese, pancetta and onions melded together nicely. The only thing I wished for was some olive oil at the table to dip my crust in.

Even while eating the meatball sliders both Erin and I became seduced by the cupcake sundae ordered by the table next to us. So when it came time for dessert it was a no brainer. While my home baked vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting was good, my pistachio gelato was too sweet and had too many pistachios. Now my expectations for gelato may have been a little high considering the fact that I enjoyed gelato at Festival of Gelato while in Florence for 6 straight days. However, I was not disappointed by the concept of the dessert.

Overall I am in agreement with what many other patrons of Mia’s have stated. It is a good addition to the Bethesda food scene and a place to definitely try if it isn’t too far. Good atmosphere, good food, good prices. Next time I will definitely be getting the deviled eggs.

And Erin…

Although I’ve already been to Mia’s a few times, Pete wanted to try it, and we wanted to go to a nice place to discuss the beginnings of our blog. I’ve always enjoyed my trips to Mia’s, but probably because when it comes to pizza I find something I like and then order it over and over again.

We sat down and ordered drinks, I had a nice glass of syrah, while we discussed appetizers. After agreeing on the meatball sliders we dived into our conversation until the food arrived. I found the meatballs (a mix of pork, veal and beef) nicely spiced and quite good, but the cheese a little bland, and the bread overwhelming.

For dinner I ordered the marghertia pizza, which was covered in a generous amount of basil. The dough was a nice texture with a nice char and I am a sucker for buffalo mozzarella. I have ordered this every time I go to Mia’s and as always I enjoyed the pie.

We both ordered cupcake sundaes for dessert, a concept I haven’t really seen in many restaurants, casual or upscale. I am a bit finicky about my cupcakes, since I happen to bake them often myself. I chose the Oreo with chocolate frosting and vanilla gelato. Somehow, I ended up with a cinnamon cupcake, which was underneath a large pile of chocolate ganache. I feel like I could have dealt with the chocolate/cinnamon combination but the large pile of chocolate frosting simply overpowered the dry cinnamon cake, and I didn’t get the spicy/sweet combo I was looking for. Combined with the sickeningly sweet vanilla gelato, the whole dessert was just a bust.

Bottom line, while I enjoyed the atmosphere of sitting on the patio of Mia’s, if I was to go again I would probably skip appetizers and dessert and just order my pie.

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