Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Paradiso Still the Best, Even at New Location

Over 100 years ago, the first pizzeria opened in the United States. Way back in 1905, in New York City, opened by Italian immigrants. Pizza became really popular all cross the U.S. after World War II, when soldiers came back from Europe excited and hungry for this old Italian dish. Now you can get it cheap and by the slice, deep dish, thin crust, with cheese, no cheese, crazy toppings or plain as a tomato pie.

New York and Chicago are the recognized pizza meccas of the U.S., but we aren't doing so bad here in the District. At the top of that list for me is Pizzeria Paradiso. They've been around since 1991 and the original location on P Street just closed and relocated a few blocks east. The new location is at 2003 P Street NW, about a block from the nearest 42 bus stop.

All of the old menu is there with the same wood burned pizza from the stone oven. Slightly charred crust and fresh, fresh vegetables. Vegan friendly and the new Dupont location is now beer friendly. Between draft and bottled, there are over 180 beers. Pilsner to stout and beyond. An amazing list.

The atmosphere is very different from the original P Street shop, and in some ways, more similar to Georgetown. The space is actually pretty narrow, but opens up in the rear of the restaurant near the kitchen. Like the original P Street, there are bar seats that look over the kitchen. And like Georgetown, there are actual real bar seats. A long 15+ seat bar brings the total seating in 2003 P Street close to 100. I didn't do a full head count, but I estimate 90-100 seas in the new location. That's similar to the Georgetown location. Get ready for outside seating, which will raise the capacity even higher. The outside seating area is just to the west of the building, near the front door of a newly constructed office building next door.

P Street has gotten a major face lift (with public and private investment) over the last 5 years and is entering a new revitalization period. Thanks to these businesses, especially locally owned like Paradiso, for keeping Dupont fresh and a destination neighborhood for DC residents and others.