Pizzeria Paradiso Satisfies Their Need for Speed with New Restaurant
Pizzeria Paradiso has long been a favorite gathering spot where you can find delicious Neapolitan-style pizza and a wide selection of beers in Dupont, Georgetown and Old Town. Now, the woman behind the pizza is putting the pedal to the metal with a fast-casual restaurant on L Street. Chef Ruth Gresser opened Veloce last Monday, and it has all of the great flavor and artisanal quality of Paradiso, without the wait.
The secret is in the oven. Working with Beltsville oven maker Marra Forni, Gresser designed a custom gas brick oven that mimics the wood-burning ovens at Paradiso, but can cook up to 25 pizzas at a time – in minutes. Serving busy corporate employees in the midst of the bustling downtown office scene, Veloce proves that you don’t have to choose between a fast pizza and a high-quality pizza.
The service may be fast, but Veloce’s ingredient sourcing is in line with the slow food movement: they feature locally sourced sustainable products whenever possible. Their chicken and lamb is pasture-raised and comes from Fields of Athenry Farms in Purcellville. Their pork products come from Pipe Dreams Fromage in Greencastle, PA, which raises pigs for pork as well as goats for goat’s cheese. Their sausages and sauces are made in-house, and they also feature a seasonal pizza and salad option with locally sourced produce.
Their beverages and desserts also come from local producers. The selection features Compass Coffee, Running Byrd Iced Tea and Capital Kombucha, all located in DC, as well as DC’s Pollystyle Cookies and MD’s Carla Hall Cookies. They also serve three flavors of house-made tiramisu: classic, lemon and chocolate.
The savory menu focuses on personal-sized pizzas, calzones, sandwiches and salads. During lunch and dinner, it’s $9 for an 8″ pie, and you can choose from white, whole wheat, mixed grains and seeds or gluten-free crusts. There is a curated menu with nine delicious meat and veggie pizza choices, as well as a full selection of toppings for custom ordering. They also offer four salad choices and four sandwich choices on the lunch and dinner menu.
I sampled The Explosion pizza, which is topped with organic tomato sauce, mozzarella, salami, kalamata olives & hot cherry peppers. It was definitely on the hot side, but not too much to handle! The 8″ pies are perfectly sized lunch portions that won’t send you into a 2 pm slump.
I also tried The Deli, one of the sandwich pockets. It was stuffed with spicy garlic pesto, salami, prosciutto, mozzarella, fontina and escarole. An excellent meat to crust ratio.
Veloce is open Monday through Friday from 7 am – 8 pm serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s located at 1828 L Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036.