Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sorriso Ristorante Food Review

Sorriso Ristorante has earned a reputation for serving some of the best pizza in the city. Located in Cleveland Park, it's only a couple of blocks from where I live; so it stands to reason, I'd be a frequent visitor (pizza and proximity are two of my greatest weaknesses.) Oddly enough, tonight was only the third time I've been inside since it opened in 2004.

My two prior experiences were far from memorable. Without elaborating, let's just say that it took a long time to get served... and when food finally arrived, it didn't prove worth the wait. But critics (even part-time foodies) can't afford to hold a grudge; so I ordered a pizza for takeaway... hoping for a turning of the tides (Italian style.) I placed an order for a Pizza Salsiccia (tomato sauce, mozzarella, Italian sausage and red peppers) with a friendly voice, and was told to stop by in 20-25 minutes.

Pizza Salsiccia
I arrived on time, and was greeted by the familiar voice on the phone. She turns out to be the owner's wife, and it's no wonder I've heard great things about the service here... She's one heck of a hostess. She immediately recognized me as the one who ordered a pizza (perhaps she's psychic?) and immediately went behind the bar to get it for me. While she was processing my credit card, she took two different drink orders without skipping a beat. A for efficiency.

$16.50 and five minutes later, I was home: I couldn't wait to dive in. The crust is paper thin, and all the ingredients are fresh. 13" is a nice size, but it might be a stretch to feed two. The cheese was delicious, but I found the sauce lacking in flavor (easily rectified with some crushed red peppers.) The sausage was nicely-sized, two to a slice; but the red peppers stole the show (best I've had in a long time.) Overall, a really nice pizza. I'm glad to see that things have improved; but I'm not ready to declare it one of the best pies in town... at least not yet. I'm eager to return (and dine in) and try their Tagliatelle with wild boar sausage ragu, or perhaps Brodetto Venezianno (Pietro's traditional Venetian fish stew.) Both sound divine.

Atmosphere: B (Nice energy, inside and out.)
Service: B+
Crust: B- (It's traditional, but a bit too thin for my taste.)
Toppings: B (Bland sauce, but red peppers to die for.)
Value: C ($15 is a bit steep)
Overall: B- (A noticeable improvement over past visits.)