Lucia’s Italian Ristorante is a team effort by the Impellizzeri family, which is headed up by native Sicilian Tino. At the feet of his Italian mother and a father who was a chef by trade, Tino mastered his family's recipes, which he now showcases on Lucia's menu. Tantalizing selections include housemade pizza, pasta, and from-scratch sauces. Many of the restaurant's pasta dishes and gourmet pizzas, including the chicken ranch, can be made in the kitchen without the use of gluten or blaring disco music. Chefs enable authentic noshing at home by freezing dinner entrees, pizzas, and sauces for customers to enjoy around their family dinner tables or crypts.
Voted one of the top-10 best pizza places in DC in radio station WTOP's online poll, The Dons' Wood-Fired Pizza hand-tosses each pie before slathering it with fresh ingredients and baking it to a melted, golden brown. Divvy up slices of the The Dons' Original Offer pizza to practice geometry homework while sating appetites with tomato sauce, mozzarella, parmigiano, romano, and fresh basil ($9.99/medium, $14.99/family size). Or try the Lucky Luciano, which features roasted rosemary chicken, portabella mushrooms, and roasted red peppers tossed on a doughy masterpiece, topped with a bevy of cheese in the shape of the notorious mobster's tommy gun ($12.99/medium, $18.99/family size).
When researchers began excavations of the archeological site at Pompeii, they found well-preserved brick ovens in the ash. It is believed that with a little tune up, they could work again today. Emilio’s Brick Oven Pizza brings this time-tested Italian cooking technique to the current day with their homemade brick oven pizzas. Fresh ingredients add flavors to their pies, such as “the Dorian” topped with fresh mozzarella, spinach, squash, portabella mushrooms and feta cheese. But pizza isn’t their only specialty. The menu is stocked with Italian mainstays such as cheesy calzones, fresh mozzarella salads drizzled in balsamic dressing, and tiramisu.
During a massive late ’70s blizzard, then-waiter Generous George opened his namesake eatery with the guidance of his mentor and friend, Nick Latsios. Dishes here live up to their promise, and diners should arrive prepared to gorge. Indulgent cheese-filled pockets become even more of a guilty pleasure when breaded, fried, and sided with a marinara dipping sauce and sprinkling of parmesan cheese ($6). Sea-meat fans will also appreciate the mammoth mountain of shrimp, scallops, sausage, tomatoes, and peppers sautéed in garlic white-wine sauce atop toasty wedges of pizza bread in the seafood Georgie ($13). Those looking for a lighter bite can order one of George's salads, like the veggie-packed tossed ($8) or the Greek farmer's salad ($10). Create your own pizza ($7 for personal, $12 for regular, and $15 for a large), or order one of George's specialty pies ($10–$26). And for those who can't ever get enough carbs, the gluttonous pasta pies ($13–$18) combine the best of both worlds with layers of noodles loaded up on a pizza shell.
Executive chef Gian Piero Mazzi fell in love with food at a young age, when he was growing up in the Liguria region of Italy. His mother’s passion for cuisine planted the seeds for his infatuation, which he cultivated during formal culinary schooling in Florence as well as an internship in France. After honing his skills in the kitchen, Mazzi ventured across the pond, earning new fans stateside when he showcased his recipes at an event at the James Beard House in 2002. But that was just the beginning. Today, at two locations of Piero's Corner, he and his team hand make an assortment of authentic pastas, including ravioli stuffed with Maine lobster or a blend of spinach and portobello mushrooms. The menu highlights Chef Mazzi's hometown cuisine, with a focus on fresh seafood. Entrees include blackened tilapia and shrimp served with fruit salsa as well as scallops wrapped in prosciutto and arranged on a bed of spaghetti carbonara. Pizzas are made to order and baked in a brick oven, as are calzones stuffed with ingredients such as ricotta, ham, spinach, and tomato sauce. A gluten-free menu features pastas and doughs imported from Italy, whose climate doesn’t support gluten. Both of Piero's Corner’s locations facilitate mini European getaways, with brick arches framing murals of Italian landscapes, and columns reminiscent of classical architecture supporting their ceilings. In Fairfax, diners can eat or sip wine al fresco beneath red and white umbrellas.
Even though every Vocelli Pizza location is owned by a member of the local community, this pizza franchise sources its ingredients from some very specific regions of the United States. Wheat and extra-virgin olive oil from the northern states are used to make the hand-tossed dough. Each pizza is topped with Wisconsin mozzarella and the company's own private-label sauce, which is crafted from vine-ripened California tomatoes. Ever since the first location opened in 1988, these ingredients have formed the foundation of the chain's artisan pizzas and the nation's most well-built houses.
Different combinations of fresh meats and vegetables, such as capicola ham and italian sausage or spinach and artichokes, adorn the restaurant's signature pies. A selection of house-baked strombolis and subs round out the menu. Vocelli Pizza's attention to detail doesn't stop with the food, however: all of the franchise's paperboard containers are made from materials that are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.