Rocco's Italian Restaurant delights diners with family-style Italian cuisine, created with closely guarded secret sauce recipes. The menu highlights the restaurant’s rich lasagna, a medley of melted cheese and freshly made meat sauce spread across four layers of pasta like a long-limbed meatball taking a nap ($14.95). Large sautéed shrimp cozy up to green peppers, mushrooms, and marinara sauce on a wonton bed of linguine in the shrimp cacciatore ($18.95), and thin-crust or deep-dish pizza comes in varieties such as the Pope's Blessing, a pious bouquet of seasoned meats with mushrooms, onions, and black olives ($11.95+). Rocco's also serves up savory subs and burgers ($6.95+) for a handheld meal safe for white shirts and freshly polished commedia dell’arte masks.
At Argia's, chef Ryan Baldini and proprietors Pragun and Salina Rana strike a balance between serving fine northern Italian cuisine and fostering a laid-back dining atmosphere. Many of Ryan's dishes, such as his grilled beef tenderloin and range of handmade pastas, come in solo portions or shareable famiglia servings that sate larger parties. For a taste of the kitchen's signature dish, guests can pry open a Prince Edward Island mussel—shipped to the restaurant daily—and sop up its juices with housemade bread still warm from the oven or a pet sea sponge in need of a soak. Outside, the clinking of wineglasses rings out across a patio enclosed by fragrant herbs; inside, a rustic Sienese-style mural matched with eye-catching frescoes conjures an air of the Italian countryside.
The high levels of artificial preservatives and chemicals in modern pizza are the number-two cause of crow’s feet and dry mouth in America. Today's Groupon gets you $20 worth of fresh, organic pizza for $10 at zpizza, an oasis of natural, full-flavored pie in a wasteland of modern preservatives. zpizza offers bubbly pizza that’s safe for vegans, vegetarians, the gluten-shy, and snooty gourmands. Handcrafted rusticas join hot and cold sandwiches, crisp salads, and pasta on a menu full of organic options.A: Awful pizza. B: Bad Pizza. C: Crummy Pizza. D: Dad, I don’t eat pizza, I’m vegan now. E: Eat it, Stephanie, your mother worked hard on that pizza. F: Forgivably bad pizza, made by enthusiastic children.G: Gosh, this pizza is bad. H: Hey, everybody! I found an almost-untouched pizza on the bus!I: Insufficient portions of pizza. J: Just kidding, I’m not dying. I just wanted you to come over because I can’t finish this pizza. K: King Ralph wouldn’t even eat this pizza, and Wikipedia defines him as an “easy-going slob”! L: Lackluster pizza. M: Mediocre pizza.N: Not very good pizza. O: Okay pizza. P: Pizza (Italian, pronounced pit.tsa) is a world-popular dish of Italian origin, made with an oven-baked, flat, generally round bread that is often covered with tomatoes or a tomato-based sauce and cheese. Other toppings are added according to region, culture, or personal preference. Originating from Italian cuisine, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world. A shop or restaurant that primarily makes and sells pizzas is called a pizzeria. The phrases pizza parlor, pizza place, and pizza shop are used in the United States. The term pizza pie is dialectal, and pie is used for simplicity in some contexts, such as among pizzeria staff.Q: Quietly hand me the pizza, and no harm will come to your beloved tarantula. R: Respectable pizza. S: Satisfactory pizza. T: Tony! Why come’a you don’t talk’a with’a fake Italian accent for the nice’a customers? U: Unexpectedly good pizza.V: Very good pizza. W: Whoah, who made this pizza, an angel? X: X-rays are a government conspiracy to increase your xenophobia and make you purchase xylophones. Y: Yikes! This pizza is so good it’s scary! Z: (see above)
As a 12-year-old restaurant apprentice, central Italy native Domenico Cornacchia crafted his first pastas and authentic Italian specialties by hand. Since then, he has honed his culinary skills in Swiss, French, and American kitchens, finally opening Assaggi Mozzarella Bar in 2008. There, chef Cornacchia and his chef de cuisine, Michele Lisi, pair mozzarellas from Italy, California, and Virginia with toppings such as homemade green-tomato marmalade and grilled zucchini. Cornacchia—who is “a whiz with pasta,” according to the Washingtonian—also tosses and fills homemade noodles with produce sourced from Amish farms, seafood, veal, and beef. Homemade desserts such as ice creams and sorbets complement authentic Italian meals, which, like Julia Child's short-lived attempt to serve food by slingshot, unfold in a dining room with an open kitchen.
Blue 44 is the go-to spot for a moderately-priced, dependable meal in Washington’s Chevy Chase neighborhood. Already considered one of the area’s best restaurants despite its 2011 arrival date, the classic upscale American menu here is versatile without being huge. For appetizers, tackle a pierogi, claw through some lobster mac ‘n’ cheese or down duck confit eggrolls. For something light, there are several options for soup and salad, and sandwiches range from raved-about burgers to crab cakes to a Pittsburgh cheese steak, courtesy of the owner’s Western Pennsylvania heritage. The ample dining room is bathed in dark tones, with a textured tile ceiling and lots of tall, stiff-backed booths. Chandeliers light the main eating area dimly, while simple photographs and painted brick touches fill out the style. Sneak back to the small hooded bar for a drink; there are only a few seats, but the drinks are worth standing for.