Cheap Eats 2007: Olazzo

This 46-seat dining room, run by brothers Roberto and Ricardo Pietrobono, recalls the haunts that dot many a Brooklyn street corner. But despite the weathered family photos on the wall, it’s not totally Old World: What looks like a roaring hearth is actually a flat-screen TV projecting images of blazing logs.

The red-sauce style of cooking can tend toward the gooey, but there’s nothing sloppy about chef Miguel Linares’s small repertoire. The green-leaf salads that come gratis arrive with good vinaigrette and a dusting of Parmesan. Meals start with crusty country bread with olive oil and balsamic for dipping. Save it—you’ll want to sop up all the robust marinara smothering the lasagna and eggplant Parmesan or the addictive tomato-cream sauce on the chicken cardinale and shrimp rosé.

If everyone at your table orders a traditional appetizer plus entrée, the waitress might warn, “That’s a lot of food.” She’s right: A starter plate of buttery garlic bread draped in melted mozzarella is best for passing around the table, and a foot-tall martini glass of fried calamari could feed a family of four.

Open Monday through Friday for lunch, nightly for dinner.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.