Matchbox fires up culinary masterpieces on the Pike

Pizza, a staple of the average teenager’s diet, comes with a sophisticated, affordable twist at Congressional Plaza’s newest restaurant, Matchbox. After recently opening this year on Rockville Pike, Matchbox caters to people of every age in a hip, yet classy way.
 Matchbox serves not only as a great new venue for customers hoping to satisfy their weekly pizza fix with a delicious brick-oven pizza, but also raises the bar for competing pizza restaurants by serving foods that are not typically found on a pizza parlor’s menu. Some of these include an appetizer list comprised of tuna tartare and sliders, the latter being one of the restaurant’s most famous dishes.
The 3. 6. 9. Mini Burgers were a treat to see as the waiters carried them around the room making their way over to their respective tables. Served on top of toasted brioche with onion straws, the appetizer sounded, smelled and looked incredible.
 The delicious grapefruit salad opener, consisting of baby green oak, marcona almonds, crumbled goat cheese and grapefruit hints at the high caliber of food yet to come. The tanginess of the grapefruit complimented the crispness of the almonds and greens nicely and is a light and excellent starter for Matchbox’s famous pizza.
 The oven-dried tomato and fresh buffalo mozzarella pizza sounds as good as it tastes. After just one bite, a firework of flavors burst on the tongue: the richness of the tomato sauce and the freshness of the mozzarella were both supported by an incredibly thin crust with a unique flavor and mixture of spices. What is the secret of the delectable pizza? It all lies in the oven.
 “You get a certain taste with a fire-brick oven and the crust cooks throughout, making a crispy, thin crust,” manager Ronan McEvoy said. “It gives a nice consistency and a smoky taste.”
 One of Matchbox’s other fine aspects is its determination to accommodate customers with health issues. When making a reservation with OpenTable, an online reservations company, diners are promptly asked about any health concerns, including gluten-free accommodations. This innovative, online option truly made the dining experience that much smoother. Diners can not only list any health concerns, but also see available reservation times online.
 “One of our managers is gluten free,” McEvoy said. “We have a gluten-free menu, which has eight to ten items that the manager created. We have created an atmosphere everyone can benefit from.”
 Despite the restaurant’s busy atmosphere, the attentiveness of the staff really shines through in their compassion and desire to accommodate all of their customers and satisfy their tastebuds.
 The molten chocolate cake perfectly capped off the meal. Chocolate lovers will be swept off of their feet once again by the richness of the chocolate cake; its decorative, laced-on caramel and the accenting mint cookie made this dessert.
 Matchbox offers a meal that is sophisticated, delicious and affordable for a typical weekly dinner or weekend lunch. The trendiness of this restaurant itself gives a twist to Rockville’s suburban atmosphere which is cited as a goal of the establishment.
“We wanted to branch out to more suburban areas [and] more families,” McEvoy said. “We wanted to give them a taste of downtown.”