Aria Pizzeria & Bar alleviates daytime stress with an assortment of hearty happy-hour fare and drink specials served in a casual atmosphere boasting high-definition TVs and occasional live music. Large cheese and pepperoni pizzas ($12–$14) form an absorbent foundation for 16-ounce drafts of Stella Artois ($4) or a signature Dark n' Stormy cocktail ($5). Fill the gullet of a large group or a massive Super Soaker with a 60-ounce pitcher of on-tap Jose Cuervo margarita or Jeremiah Weed sweet tea and lemonade ($20 each) and relax in one of more than 100 outdoor seats in the Ronald Reagan Building courtyard patio. Customers that use their Groupon for Saturday-evening dinner can feast on forkfuls of baked lasagna ($9.75) or saw through the crusty exterior of a blackened-chicken sandwich with provolone cheese and aioli ($7.75). The eatery's sociable staff will also gladly validate your parking or decision to become a rodeo clown.
Since its founding in 2001, The Upper Crust Pizzeria has fashioned artful thin-crust pizzas in 19 storefronts with modern, architectural touches. Chefs craft specialty pies inspired by local landmarks, from the sundried-tomato cobblestones of the Beacon Hill to the pesto-painted walls of the Green Monster. Diners can opt to spread sweet sauce over a regular or whole-wheat crust or request that any pie be served white without sauce, and combine slices with crisp salads or pounce on the geometric goodness of a spinach square or half moon-shaped calzone. Restaurant interiors are accoutered with modern flourishes such as flat-screen TVs and pan-decorated ceilings, allowing one to lie down and admire their reflection before a postmeal nap.
Pepperoni, Italian sausage, and prosciutto snuggle atop the Meat Lovers' pie, resting right alongside caramelized onions—an unexpected touch that's typical of Jumbo Pizza's flavorful specialties. Roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, and pesto sauce contribute to the appetizing aroma of the roasted eggplant pizza. The white pizza—topped with garlic sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, feta, cheddar, and gorgonzola—proves a mighty temptation to cheese lovers and a fine target for wandering cheese archers. Outside the realm of pizzas, Jumbo fills plates with other hearty Italian-style fare, including meatballs, lasagna, gyros, and sandwiches.
It starts with dough made from scratch each day. Chefs continue the pizza-making process by ladling on sauce made in house from freshly peeled Italian tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Whole-milk mozzarella then melts around gyro meat, eggplant, sausage, and other toppings in the rippling heat of an oven. Washington Deli’s owners supervise the entire process, drawing on pizza expertise accumulated during formative years spent in New York. Their workers rush from the kitchen, carrying paninis, boxed lunches, and platters—including vegan and gluten-free options—to fuel workplace parties or collapse the flimsy tables of rival offices.