Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pizze Ristorante Italiano Food Review

Plain Cheese Pizza with Italian Sausage

Pizze Ristorante Italiano is one of those "little places" you stumble upon, when everywhere else is full; but don't let the modest looks fool you. This undersized basement eatery makes a mean pie (three cheers for wood-stone brick ovens!) mean enough to win the title of best pizza in Woodley Park.

The 2600 block of Connecticut Avenue, NW has a ton of restaurants (tourists, tourists, tourists) with more than its share of overpriced "tourist traps." Pizze certainly qualifies as pricey, but if the rest of their menu (pastas, salads, sandwiches) matches their pizza, it's worth the extra dough. You have to walk down a few steps to enter, then walk through a drawn curtain... only to find a tiny dining area with a few tables and a sweeping counter with a gorgeous brick oven in the corner. Towards the side, you'll discover a bustling kitchen that feeds an upstairs restaurant... with scores of servers shuttling back & forth. I arrived just before 8:00 PM after calling in an order for a Plain Cheese Pizza with Italian Sausage ($12.50, $13.75 including tax.) There was nobody inside... customers or employees; but a friendly eye in the back noticed me, and popped out. She couldn't have been nicer, and correctly guessed that I was here to pick up a pizza.

I was almost 15 minutes late; but fear not... My pizza was keeping warm in the oven. No sticking pies in a box, and stacking here: Pizze believes in delivering hot pies... pies that smell delicious. The Italian sausage literally jumps out at you, and it took a good deal of restraint not to "sneak a peak" on the way home. Pizze slices their pies in quarters, so it begs for folding (New York style.) The crust was well-cooked, and folded easily. The aforementioned sausage is sensational, although I would have loved more. At $1.50 per topping, I'd definitely recommending "doubling down."

Pizze's fresh mozzarella is uniquely applied, but nice & tasty. The tomato sauce is fairly rich; although there didn't seem to be too much of it. I'm anxious to try it again with all the trimmings (fresh basil, onions, more sausage.) Compared to its competition (Café Sorriso e Gelateria, Italian Pizza Kitchen, Open City, Woodley Cafe, etc.) Pizze can rest easy knowing they make a superior product... at least in their neighborhood.

Atmosphere: B- (Small, but cozy. Very casual.)
Service: B (Efficient and friendly.)
Crust: B
Toppings: B (Good quality... especially the sausage.)
Value: B (This place gets a bad rap for being overpriced... they're not.)
Overall: B (Best pizza in Woodley Park.)