Sunday, October 02, 2005

Papa Razzi

The weather in Georgetown is gorgeous today, after a long week of autumn chills. My friend (code name Bob) and I decided to try Papa Razzi, an Italian restaurant tucked away on Wisconsin Ave., just far away from M St. to avoid huge crowds. This is our first visit.

The decor is very New York (very different from DC) and the lighting warm and comfortable. The walls are adorned with framed black and white photos of celebrities in action. I believe the wall right next to our table had a framed Beatle photo. The table had white tablecloth and a small water container that held some fresh flowers. Simple, yet it works.

The waiter handed us some good focaccia to start with. I'm usually not a fan of that standard bread and butter affair since they usually fill me up unnecessarily. This time, I have to say that I loved every bit of the focaccia. The crust had some salt and herbs, a good touch.

I ordered a minestrone soup and Puttanesca with pepperoni. I will type the description straight from the restaurant menu before proceeding with my own review.
Minestrone (soup section): classic Italian vegetable soup with roasted chicken, spinach, plum tomatoes and fresh herbs. $4.50
Puttanesca (pizza section. all pizzas are wood-fired and have thin crust): olives, capers, marinated tomatoes, artichoke hearts and mozzarella. $9.99

The soup was rather hearty. Since the menu did not include a cup/bowl option, I figured the portion would probably be generous. The soup was light and included a good variety of vegetables: celery, peas, herbs, spinach, tomatoes, and possibly more. The ingredients were very fresh and cooked through without being overly done. I think I was full already after the soup and focaccia.

While I have had better thin crusts than the pizza crust here, I have to say the ingrients are superb. After my experience at Uno's, Pizza Paradiso, California Pizza Kitchen, Manny&Olga's, and of course Dominoes in the area, I'm convinced that the only pizzas worth mentioning would probably be from Papa Razzi. The toppings are awesome as well. Where does one get capers and artichoke hearts as toppings usually? Together with the gourmet olives and tomatoes, the capers and artichokes create a wonderfully unique mix. The resulting pizza will satisfy any stomach. I added pepperoni as a topping just to add meat content but I don't think it's necessary.

Bob had a salad, I think Panzanella? It had lettuce, capers, tomatoes, and torn focaccia. The dressing was sweet yet light, not too distracting. The crisp leaves and fresh tomatoes made for a appetizing salad. He had a Pollo Al Pomodoro pizza, which was good, but in my opinion it had just a bit too much chicken. It overpowered everything else. The ingredients just can't match my capers and olives. Here's the what the menu says.
Pollo al pomodoro: grilled chicken, crushed tomatoes, mushrooms and mozzarella. $9.99.

Well, not bad for my first post. perhaps a bit long.
Check out other Papa Razzi locations near you!

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