From Alejandra Owens. You can find Owens at her food blog, One Bite At A Time. Owens also writes for City Eats DC, a Food Network site, where you can book dinner reservations. Follow her on Twitter at @frijolita.
Fourteenth Street’s restaurant scene continues to grow at the rate of a protein hungry teenager, and the latest addition to restaurant row is local power-house and crowd-pleaser, Matchbox.
Long known for their Chinatown and Capitol Hill locations, the pizzeria fired up their brick ovens last week for a test run with friends, family and media. I don’t think we’ll be hearing any challenges for best pizza in town from this crew, but the location, robust menu and truly beautiful space is a welcome addition to an area that’s well known for smaller restaurants or restaurants appreciated by those with “fancy” pallets and deep pockets.
The three-story building’s brick facade was preserved and the interior was built out to compliment the building’s rustic feel. Tree stump stools, exposed wood staircases and wrought iron accents can be found throughout. On the first floor, a 25 foot bar is situated along the northern wall, leading patrons to a pizza bar that overlooks Matchbox’s famous brick ovens, of which there are two. Two floating wood boxes, located on the second level, offer a more private dining experience with impressive views of the rest of the restaurant. A to-go station and large patio will both open soon as well.
The mozzi carrozzi (a lightly fried basil, tomato, mozzarella sandwich), spicy meatball pizza and roasted tomato linguini at my table were all great and just begging for a big ‘ol table of friends to dive right in.
And that’s the thing, if there’s one thing the latest Matchbox location will be good for it’s large groups, visiting family and brunches. According to the Matchbox site, brunch is slated to begin December 8 at 10am every weekend.
Stay tuned for more updates on Matchbox and its pop-tart wielding cousin, Ted’s Bulletin, which is also opening along 14th Street in the coming months. Matchbox can be found at 1901 T Street NW, on the corner of 14th and T Streets NW.