(3315 Connecticut Ave., NW, 202-363-1999; 4705 Miller Ave., Bethesda, 301-654-6367). These Italian delis are most famous for their sauce-on-top-of-cheese pizza, available by the pie ($8 and up) or slice ($1.60). But there are many other reasons to brave the lines. Frozen house-made pastas—meat-filled ravioli ($3.50) and cheesy tortellini ($3.50)—are worknight staples and go well with the meaty, flavor-packed red sauce ($2 for a half pint, $3.25 for a pint). Agnolotti filled with pumpkin ($6.50 a pound) need only a bit of butter and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Sandwiches ($5.25 to $7) on olive-oily focaccia or an Italian roll are filled with tissue-thin prosciutto, mortadella, and fresh mozzarella, all of which also can be found in the deli case. Even with all this distraction, it’s hard to say no to a slice of pizza for the car ride home.