Prospects puts upscale touch on plain old pizza

Prospects on Prospect Street
3203 Prospect Street NW
(202) 298-6800
Closed Mondays

Imagine thick slices of lamb sausage; wild mushrooms atop pesto. Roasted garlic and shallots; and even fresh mozzarella gracing dishes. Wine served by the bottle is more common here than beer served by the tap. By these differences alone, Prospects on Prospect Street doesn’t sound like your average pizza joint.

These and a number of things set Prospects apart from its delivery-based competition, for better or for worse. Prospects is not a big restaurant. The small dining room seats about 20 and evokes images of Beverly Hills and California with its sleek interiors and a big bay window facing Prospect Street. Prospects has some charm to it, and it is not hard to get a table because it is relatively undiscovered. There was no wait for a party of four on a Saturday night.

The menu is not particularly extensive. There is a wide variety of salads at the top of the menu, of which the organic greens salad is the best bet. The mixed salad with small pieces of piquant feta cheese and a sprinkling of pine nuts is served with a truffle oil vinagrette dressing that provides an earthy balance to the cheese and complements the greens. The same salad is available for an extra $1.50 with mango, a nice luxury if you have extra spending money.

Prospects has no problem focusing its menu – the only entrees available are 12-inch pizzas. The care with which Prospects prepared our pizzas suggests that any selection will be mostly worth your while. Pizza No. 12, with spicy lamb sausage and button mushrooms, leaves no space on the pizza uncovered. The shallots that Prospects claims to add are not present in taste or appearance, but it makes little difference to this delectable creation. If the plum tomatoes hadn’t been so bland, the mixture of toppings would have achieved its desired effect.

Pie No. 4, with mushrooms, tomatoes and pesto, really hits the spot. The mixture of wild and button mushrooms tastes fresh, and the tomatoes on this pizza were markedly better. This pizza does not have a strong pesto taste, instead deferring to the softer taste of the vegetable combination.

Those who enjoy garlic will love No. 2, a white pizza with fresh mozzarella and lots of roasted garlic. The herbs that appear on top are overwhelming in taste, and the garlic is well roasted making it taste a bit caramelized.

More conventional pizza-eaters will like Pie No. 11, a standard pepperoni pizza with a bit of an upscale sauce.

All of the pizzas at Prospects are a bit pricey – spending $9.50 for a pepperoni pizza is more of an expensive night out than a fine dining experience. Likewise, salads are not cheap. Given the focus of the restaurant, you may wish to side with the pizzas, clearly the showcase items on the menu.

If you’ve got a few bucks to spend on a quiet night with good pizza, Prospects is worth your time.

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