Alexandrians have a new place for pastas and pies with the opening of Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap. The 100-seat restaurant near the Braddock Road Metro is helmed by Italian chef Mauro Molino and Graham Duncan of Alexandria Restaurant Partners, who’re behind Virtue Feed & Grain, the Majestic, and others.
A 900 degree wood-fired oven turns out thin-crust, Neapolitan-style pizzas for lunch and dinner. In addition to classics like Margherita and pepperoni you’ll find more unusual combinations—think spicy sopressata with fried kale and ghost pepper honey, or a Korean-style barbecue pie with short ribs, spicy gochujang sauce, and pickled vegetables. Another house specialty is “the great meatball,” which clocks in at over half-a-pound and is stuffed with molten mozzarella. Guests can order the beefy ball as an appetizer with roasted marinara, or atop spaghetti for a meal.
Weekend brunch begins this Sunday, where you’ll find dishes like an egg and bacon-topped breakfast pizza, and house-made cinnamon-apple doughnuts. A staple at all meals: Nutella-topped breakfast pies.
A landscaped garden patio seats an additional 68 guests, and is equipped with a fire pit for cooler weather dining. Guests can warm up with 16 craft drafts, or an Amaretto-spiked Italian margarita.
Lena’s Wood Fired Pizza & Tap. 401 E. Braddock Rd., Alexandria; 703-683-5330. Open daily for lunch, 11:30 to 5. Dinner: Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11; Friday and Saturday, 5 to midnight; Sunday 4 to 11. Sunday brunch 11 to 4.