Cheap Eats 2007: Pizzeria Paradiso

Back in the early ’90s, Washington was a delivery-pizza kind of town where unusual toppings meant broccoli or pineapple. Then along came Ruth Gresser and Peter Pastan, whose Pizzeria Paradiso, wedged into a P Street brownstone, introduced the city to a new kind of pie—a yeasty dough made bubbly and pliant in a wood-burning oven and adorned with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and good olive oil.

Pastan has departed, a bigger Georgetown location has joined the tiny Dupont original, and there’s now a roster of boutique beers and beer cocktails, but not much else has changed. You’re still greeted with a finger bowl of oil-soaked olives. The lemonade is still tart and sparkling. And the excellent pizzas sport winning topping combinations like the Atomica (a spicy scatter of salami, dried peppers, and black olives) and the Bottarga, which pairs a runny egg with Parmesan shavings and dried mullet roe.

Like the pies, the rest of the menu is best when it’s simplest: creamy white beans and Italian tuna; fresh mozzarella with sun-dried tomatoes and chiffonades of basil; and prosciutto wrapped around goat cheese, served on crostini.

Open daily for lunch and 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.