These 10 Bethesda-area pizzerias have captured our attention
In February, Pizzeria Paradiso chef and owner Ruth Gresser was nominated for a James Beard Foundation award for outstanding restaurateur in the United States, one of 20 semifinalists in that category who “demonstrate creativity in entrepreneurship and integrity in restaurant operations.” Gresser, who opened her fifth outpost of Pizzeria Paradiso in Upper Northwest D.C.’s Spring Valley neighborhood in December, is a pizza pioneer; she introduced the now ubiquitous style of wood-fired Neapolitan pizza at the original Paradiso in D.C. in 1991.
Gresser makes darn good pizza. Our current fave is the Di Mare (9- or 12-inch), spread with spicy garlic pesto (leeks, Grana Padano cheese, elephant garlic, crushed red pepper, olive oil), in-shell mussels, shrimp, spinach leaves, red onions and more Grana Padano cheese. Gresser’s crust is puffy and breadlike with few charred spots, because unlike most other Neapolitan pie-makers, she uses American bread flour instead of fine Italian flour, adds oil to the dough and bakes at a lower temperature (650 degrees instead of 750 or higher). We’ve found it’s best to remove all the mussel meats from their shells before you start eating, instead of as you go along.
Pizzeria Paradiso, 4850 Massachusetts Ave., Washington, D.C.; 202-885-9101; eatyourpizza.com