Chris Morgan, the Michelin-starred chef who-cofounded Washington, D.C. concepts like Yasmine, a Lebanese kebab and cocktail bar, and Little Chicken, a fried chicken eatery, has entered the pizza segment with Pizza Serata, which opened in January at 550 Morse Street NE in the nation’s capital.
The menu, created by Morgan and “Pizza Czar” Anthony Falco (formerly of Roberta’s in Brooklyn, New York), offers artisanal, personal pan pizzas on housemade dough, fresh salads, sides and more. These are not your average pan pizzas—they’re made from a unique, 24-hour olive oil-based and warm-fermented dough that results in a thick, crispy pizza that “travels exceptionally well,” according to Morgan.
Pizza items on the Pizza Serata menu include the Reading Terminal (porchetta, mozzarella, broccoli rabe, provolone, pickled cherry peppers and a vodka sauce) and the Hot & Bothered (arrabiata sauce, soppressata, mozz, pecorino, oven-dried tomatoes, basil, Calabrian chili oil and honey).
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But Morgan also plates gourmet sandwiches like the Crooked Italian (prosciutto, mortadella, soppressata, provolone, pickled cherry peppers, oven-dried tomatoes, arugula and garlic aioli) and a fan favorite, the Steak Sandwich.
“The simple things are often the best,” Morgan said of the sandwich. “This dish is a testament to that. We use a great ingredient like Calabrian chiles and pack it into a simple aioli that is seasoned with a pop of honey for a touch of sweetness. The salsa verde brightens up the dish and cuts through the richness of the steak and the aioli. It’s a perfect pairing. On our freshly toasted, housemade focaccia that we make every morning after a 24-hour room temperature ferment, I have trouble not eating five of them every day.”
In his own words, Morgan shared how he makes the Steak Sandwich, and we’re passing the secrets on to PMQ’s readers.
1. Steak is cleaned and seasoned simply with salt and pepper.
2. It is then grilled over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on either side. (Cooked to medium rare to medium.) Skirt steak is thin and cooks quickly. Higher heat is your best friend here.
3. We then allow the steak to rest at room temperature for 4-5 minutes to allow the meat to properly rest before slicing the steak against the grain in 2”-3″ long strips.
4. We toast our housemade focaccia on the flat top (or in a pan) using garlic-infused olive oil until the bread is nicely browned on the inside and left soft on the outside.
5. On the bottom of the bread we add a nice serving of our Calabrian aioli. The sliced steak is then laid over top of the aioli. After topping the steak with a touch of finishing salt—we use Maldon—the steak is finished with our salsa verde.
“This sandwich will make you forget about all other steak sandwiches,” Morgan added.