Pizza Paradiso opened its doors in Dupont Circle 20 years ago, prompting the restaurant to plan a multitude of events and specials celebrating the establishment’s many years of catering to Washington. Kicking off its “20 Something” Celebration, Chef and Owner Ruth Gresser invited some of the DC area food bloggers and media to their Georgetown location for a preview of the planned week of events. With a sampling menu of pizzas pairing with beers, Ruth was also on hand to show people how to make their own pizza and tell the story of the pizzeria.
Luckily, most of the antipasti, pizzas and beers featured on the night’s tasting menu were part of the regular menu. We have never been to Pizza Paradiso before this event and were happy to sample what the restaurant considers the best items on their menu. The most notable antipasti was the Insalat di Tonno e Fagiolo, predictably white beans and tuna with an olive oil drizzle. The Atomica pizza, with tomato, salami, black olives and hot pepper flakes, was one of the better pizzas being served. The best pizza served and the only one not on the regular menu was the 20th Anniversary Pizza, roasted garlic pesto, roasted red peppers, speck, buffalo mozzarella, pine nuts, parsley and onions. What made it even better was the paired brew, Stone’s Imperial Black IPA. A small cup o’ tiramisu was brought out the end, heavy on the coffee powder and with an overly liquid body. The Make Your Own Pizza station at the event was less about making a pizza and more about being able to talk to Ruth one on one about her technique and her own experiences over the past 20 years. Having that personal conversation was a great feature of the night.
Near the end of the night, Ruth Gresser explained the history of her pizzeria and the passion she has for both the food she serves and the staff she serves with. From her building permit to when key members of her staff joined her, it was clear that Ruth was very proud about what she had accomplished and how her pizzeria has endured. She talked abut the work put into the still expanding locations of her pizzeria as if it is still the small business she opened those many years ago. The staff she’s gathered are her family and the restaurant is her home. While the pizza was good and the beers were great, Ruth’s down-to-earth passion for her craft was what made us want to come back to Pizza Paradiso. Below are the events that she has put together to let the public take part in her restaurant’s 20th anniversary. Most are available at all three locations in Georgetown, Dupont Circle and Old Town Alexandria.
What’s the deal?
Monday, November 7 – $20 Take Out. Get one large and one small pizza for $20 on take-out orders only.
Tuesday, November 8 – 20th Anniversary Beer Glass Giveaway (one complimentary beer glass with beer purchase)
Wednesday, November 9 – $20 All You Can Eat Pizza & Beer (2 drink max)
Thursday, November 10 – $20 Small Special Pizza paired with an Anniversary Beer
Friday, November 11 – .20¢ For Your First Beer
Saturday, November 12 – .20¢ Topping (Dine In Only. 3 toppings max)
Sunday, November 13 – “20 Free Pizzas” Family/Kids Day. 1-4PM. Kids can participate in a Make Your Own Pizza demonstration with Chef Ruth Gresser; first 20 kid’s pizzas are free. (Old Town location only)