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Pizzeria Paradiso-has been?

moreskordalia Jan 25, 2007 06:39 PM

I've been going to Pizzeria Paradiso as long as it's been around, and it even figured in my choice of where I bought a condo. Yet I've been going less lately, and have been less happy with the product (and service, once always great) than before. I feared that opening a G-town branch would doom the original. But perhaps it's something else. Is it just me, or do others have any sense of what's happening at this place?

  1. j
    Jonny Pops May 6, 2009 06:33 AM

    It's kind of pathetic that this is considered a good pizza place. I suppose it gives off the signals of being good, in terms of the menu, presentation etc. Unfortunately, I went here recently with family visiting from CT (where they have real pizza) and we were surprised at how bad the entire experience was.

    First there's the wait, which is both astoundingly long and inexplicable given what you're waiting for. When we finally got a table, it came with conditions from the hostess - that one of us stand for however long it took them to find an extra chair, which could be a while. When we asked the hostess how long exactly this would take, she got frustrated, threw her hands up and said "listen, whatever you guys want to do!". Then she seated a 3 Top - took their extra chair and gave it to us. Which you think could have just been done first, before asking someone who had already waited over an hour to stand a while longer while the rest of the party was seated.

    Finally there's the pizza, which is bland, bland, bland. Just saying "fresh mozzarella" doesn't make it good unfortunately. There was little flavor in this pie and my brother and I resorted to piling on the salt in order to taste something. Don't waste your time folks. Especially if you've had real pizza before.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jonny Pops
      Steve May 6, 2009 06:41 AM

      I always get the Atomica, no lack of flavor there, plus I go to the Georgetown branch where there is plenty of seating. The Atomica is a great pizza.

      But I agree that I've gone to Dupont Circle where a plain pizza can be boring.

      1. re: Jonny Pops
        monkeyrotica May 7, 2009 03:22 AM

        If you're used to CT pizza, ANY pizza place in DC will be a disappointment.

        I went to the Dupont Paradiso years ago and never had the urge to return. I hear the one in Georgetown is much better, with a better beer selection.

        1. re: Jonny Pops
          WestIndianArchie May 7, 2009 08:41 AM

          You've described many restaurants here in the DC Metro Area.

          1. re: WestIndianArchie
            flavrmeistr May 7, 2009 08:58 AM

            Most of the Italian ones, anyway.

        2. Davydd Dec 26, 2007 05:11 AM

          I was at Pizzeria Paradiso at Dupont Circle Christmas Eve day and it was fine by me. The pizzas were great, the service was great, the atmosphere was perfect and they were serving Bell's Winter Ale. I couldn't ask for anything more. But then I am from Minnesota so what do I know? ;)

          We sat at the counter and watched the pizzaiolos work at the wood fired oven. It was fun. The counter seats 6 and the small dining room seats about 32. We ordered their Atomica pizza and the Bosco pizza.

          Pictures attached.

          1. j
            Jim Zurer Feb 3, 2007 05:48 AM

            Haven't been to the Dupont Circle location in a while.....noise level is too high....but I still frequent the Georgetown location and believe that the pizzas continue to be excellent. 2 Amys is very good (especially for antipasti) but I still prefer the pizza at Paradiso. I liked to order it "well-baked" to get a bit more crustiness.....

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jim Zurer
              hungryT Feb 6, 2007 09:42 AM

              Noise level at Dupont Circle too high? The place barely seats 25 (30 if it's really crowded). Both the G-town location and 2 Amy's have 2x the room of the Dupont location. If Dupont is too noisy then what say you of 2 Amy's? Deafening? You can't even hear a plate drop and break on the floor at 2 Amy's.
              Not a criticism, just wondering what you're comparison is. FYI, I haven't been back to PP since late fall/early winter when the temp was up in the 70s. From other posts, 2 Amy's apparently has an issue w/ undercooking (read: very chewy dough) their pizza when they get busy. I just have to re-visit during early lunch some time.

            2. f
              foodslut Jan 30, 2007 11:04 AM

              Oh my gosh, you are so right about two Amy's being an "authentic-pizza-in-a-nursery-atmosphere" place. I'm so done with it for that reason.

              1. p
                pblumb Jan 30, 2007 08:10 AM

                I agree with the other posters that the G-town location continues to be stellar and the beverage options are exceptional. In addition to a fantastic beer selection (including several "flights" to sample), the wine list, cocktails, and sangrias offer many good choices. The complimentary olive appetizer is a nice touch.

                1. spyturtle008 Jan 29, 2007 12:45 PM

                  I ate at the PP in DuPont circle for lunch yesterday and thought it was excellent, however that was my first visit so I can't make a retro comparison. Had a sicilian on wheat crust and it was pretty much perfect -- thinly sliced veggies, tasty crust, great cheese... Partner had the pesto & potato pizza w/ goat cheese, which was good as well. Service was great -- the three of us suck our drinks down fast, and we had a constant supply of steady sodas. Were trying to make a matinee movie, and didn't have to look at my watch once. Nor did we feel rushed. Plan to check out 2 Amy's on my next trip down...

                  1. s
                    sixfive Jan 29, 2007 05:17 AM

                    Interesting, I was just at the Gtown location Saturday, and had a great pizza and beer (forget which, but it was a very hopp-y IPA). Never been to the Dupont location.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: sixfive
                      Bill4242 Jan 29, 2007 12:10 PM

                      I haven't been to the Dupont location in a long time, but the Georgetown location continues to make great pizza and, even better, offers a truly excellent beer selection.

                      Also, while I agree with other posters above that 2 Amy's pizza is excellent (a notch above Paradiso, if just barely), the number of screaming little kids in there the last few times I've gone have made it almost unbearable.

                      1. re: Bill4242
                        monkeyrotica Jan 30, 2007 08:36 AM

                        You have a higher tolerance for the authentic-pizza-in-a-nursery-atmosphere than I. I haven't been in months for just that reason.

                        And I think the Paradiso slide has been pretty gradual. I gave up on their pies and their sloppy service almost a year ago. I can't fathom how someone would base their condo purchase on proximity to a particular restaurant. Bewildering, particularly considering the turnover rate in this town.

                        1. re: monkeyrotica
                          moreskordalia Feb 1, 2007 08:37 PM

                          Well perhaps other people have other priorities than being near good food, but that's just me. Commitment, y'know.

                          1. re: moreskordalia
                            monkeyrotica Feb 2, 2007 04:47 AM

                            I see what you're saying. When I bought my first place downtown, there were about half-a-dozen places that I enjoyed eating at within a 10 minute walk. Four years later, they were all gone, replaced by restaurants that were either too expensive, too trendy and crowded, or just not particularly good. This is less of an issue in the burbs, since you can basically drive a little farther and find something worth eating.

                            The restaurant market downtown is a pretty volatile one, and very fickle. Making a major investment based on proximity to restaurants is a risky business venture in itself. Caveat emptor.

                            1. re: monkeyrotica
                              moreskordalia Feb 2, 2007 03:50 PM

                              Yes, well, thanks for the real estate advice. PP has been around c. 15 years, and for more than 4 was almost a perfect pizza place. And there are more than a few other advantages to the neighborhood, which I kinda considered as well.

                    2. s
                      supergirl_sf Jan 26, 2007 04:04 PM

                      I don't know if it has gone downhill, but the last time I was there, the lovely looking pizza I oredered was shockingly tasteless. Truth is, though, I never thought it was all that to begin with. I have to second fudluvr's opinion about 2 Amy's -- in repeated comparisons, it always comes out ahead.

                      1. f
                        fudluvr Jan 26, 2007 02:17 PM

                        We used to live in DC. Last year, we visited and went to Paradiso in dupont. It was not as good, and we couldn't put our finger on it.

                        Two Amys, however, was rockin.

                        1. ChocoHound Jan 26, 2007 06:43 AM

                          I was at the Dupont location last week and my impression was that it isn't as good as it used to be.

                          1. c
                            ChewFun Jan 26, 2007 06:21 AM

                            I was at the Georgetown location a couple of weeks ago (I don't go as often as I would like), but I really enjoyed it. I love the beer selection too.

                            1. h
                              hungryT Jan 25, 2007 07:09 PM

                              Possible but I haven't been in a while. Your other options to get your fix is the G-town location (more space and HUGE beer list :D ) and Mia's pizza in Bethesda off of Cordell Ave. Mia's is also related to Paradiso. I like them just a tad better than Paradiso cuz the bread seems a bit different. Downer is they don't open until 11:30 and no free olives while you wait.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: hungryT
                                moreskordalia Jan 26, 2007 07:48 AM

                                How is Mia's related?

                                1. re: moreskordalia
                                  hungryT Jan 29, 2007 03:50 AM

                                  see this post:

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