3715 Macomb St., NW
Washington, DC 20016
Neighborhood: Upper Northwest, Cleveland Park
Cuisines: Tapas/Small Plates, Pizza, Italian
Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Nearby Metro Stops: Tenleytown-AU, Cleveland Park
Price Range: Moderate
Noise Level: Rowdy
Reservations: Not Accepted
Romanesco cauliflower;sardines; eggplant Parmesan; Vongole pizza; Margherita pizza
As it enters its second decade, perhaps it's time to stop thinking of this clattering cafe as a pizzeria and start seeing it for what it is: the best Italian restaurant for the price in DC.
The Neapolitan-style pies can be wonderful--lightly blistered crusts adorned with a perfect tomato sauce and half moons of fresh mozzarella--but you could also make a glorious meal of nothing but a salad (it's taken seriously here) and a few of what the menu calls "little things." Seldom will you find two- and three-bite dishes of such shimmering simplicity, from a crock of tender meatballs to delicate salt-cod croquettes to crunchy bruschetta with sweet tomatoes.
The dessert menu is small but includes the best ice cream in DC (a sumptuous vanilla) and excellent filled-to-order cannoli.
Also good: Calabrese pizza, with anchovies and olives; Norcia pizza, with salami and grilled peppers; tomato-and-ricotta-stuffed pizza; spring radishes with butter; orange-and-olive salad; doughnuts (weekend mornings).
Open Monday for dinner, Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.