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Pazzo Pomodoro, Chef Raffaelle Mastromarino in the old BBQ Country Space in Danor Plaza in Vienna

Vienna Danor Plaza Italian Pizza

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#1 DrXmus

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 12:57 PM

As I was heading to Norm's to stock up on beer, I saw that the crappy bar-b-que restaurant has closed and permits are posted for Pazzo Pomodoro. They have a web site that's also under construction (turn speakers down unless you like UB-40 - the stop button is the 12 o'clock position on the ipod dial in the lower right), but apparently it's a locally-owned joint.

They're going to have a Stefano Ferrara pizza oven from Napoli. Their catch phrase is "where pizza meets fine dining." I'm not sure whether this is good or bad. As a positive, one of the permits posted is for an ABC license.

Anyone have any inside information?

Sandy Christmus

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Vienna, VA

 

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#2 NovaLawyer

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Posted 20 June 2012 - 02:10 PM

The BBQ place in that space wasn't bad - they had a wood fired oven to roast things up on. I think, however, that a nice Italian place could do a land-office business in that strip mall, which already has an Indian place (Aditi), a pan-Asian place (Sweet Ginger), and a noveau-American place (Maplewood Grill). The last two aren't bad, I've eaten at them both. Never at the Indian joint. A concentration of decent restaurants in a single location is generally not a bad thing.

#3 JBag57

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:42 PM

As I was heading to Norm's to stock up on beer, I saw that the crappy bar-b-que restaurant has closed and permits are posted for Pazzo Pomodoro. They have a web site that's also under construction (turn speakers down unless you like UB-40 - the stop button is the 12 o'clock position on the ipod dial in the lower right), but apparently it's a locally-owned joint.

They're going to have a Stefano Ferrara pizza oven from Napoli. Their catch phrase is "where pizza meets fine dining." I'm not sure whether this is good or bad. As a positive, one of the permits posted is for an ABC license.

Anyone have any inside information?


They are opening tomorrow (Wednesday, 11/28) at 5:00 for dinner. Menu here: http://www.pazzopomo...doro.com/#!menu.

I hope to go sometime in the near future, but I know that there are others who post here that are in the vicinity of Vienna, so hopefully someone will post a review soon.

#4 DrXmus

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

We may go on opening night and I'll post afterwards. The menu looks good. How often do you see Cacio e Pepe or perciatelli on a menu?

Sandy Christmus

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Vienna, VA

 

Why is it that to doctor a document is to falsify it, but to vet it is to check it for its accuracy? - Anu Garg


#5 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

Just noticed the chef is from Capri in McLean.

#6 DrXmus

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:06 PM

Mrs. DrX and I went to Pazzo Pomodoro for opening night last night. I don't know how much of the review will be different after they've been open for a few weeks, but here it is.

To start, I'll say the space is nice. It looks like the kitchen is in the same place as it was when it was the crappy BBQ joint, but now it's an exhibition kitchen with everybody but the dishwasher front and center (well, actually, on the left side of the restaurant). The tables are small and fairly close together, but it's not quite off-putting. The fabric tablecloths are red and white checkerboard. There's a little bar in the back, although I didn't get to see much of that. The only beers on tap now are Harpoon's seasonal and Peroni, although they have a Flying Dog tap handle, too. The bathroom, at least the little boys' room, was a spacious one-holer with framed pictures from the fifties and sixties of Italian women, a Fiat ad with an Italian woman, women movie stars...you see the theme. It was cute, not over the top. Even though it was bustling and full last night, the restaurant wasn't loud. I'm not sure how they did it, but perhaps the ceiling is special (It's a dropped ceiling with panels). One wall is half mural and half rock and the only soft things in the room were the tablecloths.

Appetizers all looked very good (arancini, potato croquettes, fried mozarella, etc.) and we tried the calmari fritti. The dish was rings only and zucchini. They were fried well and perfectly tender, although the salting could've been more assertive. Salt and pepper are on the table, so we remedied the problem easily enough.

We split a mixed green salad ($5) which came out on two plates with a very good balsamic vinaigrette on the side. I'm not sure if we got two by mistake or if they split the salad for us, but we were just charged for one. There was probably twice as much salad dressing as needed, but it was nice to have it on the side. No, we didn't ask for anything special.

Next came agnelotti with spinach and ricotta in a mascarpone sauce and a Margherita pizza. The menu says the gnocchi (potato), lasagna, papardelle, spaghetti, angelotti and ravioli are made fresh daily. The dish came out a little cold and the pasta was a little overcooked, but the filling was flavorful and the sauce, while rich, was cheesy and delicious. The pizza came out piping hot (I'm guessing the pasta was on hold for the 'za). The pizza was just "meh". The crust edge was flavorful with some mild charring, but the center of the pizza was so thin and it was such a soupy mess, that the flavor was lost. Unfortunately, the sauce wasn't very flavorful, either, so we ended up muddling through the center to get to the tasty edge. Seems backwards, right? The pizza crust made a great sopper for the pasta sauce though, so nothing went to waste.

Speaking of sopping, we didn't get bread until we asked for it halfway through the meal. I hear this is becoming the norm, but in a rustic Italian restaurant, it seems it should be a priority, especially considering they have the Neapolitan pizza oven. The bread basket was a combo of white Italian and a seeded whole wheat and both were OK. The Italian had a nice crust, but the crumb was dry and had minimal flavor, unfortunately. It could've been better had we had butter or olive oil, but neither was offered, nor did I see anyone else with either (or bread for that matter).

Service was less than stellar, although our Turkish waiter was very pleasant. We actually felt a little left out in that every table around us got free items from the owners but we were ignored. The free food wasn't always comps because the kitchen was behind; some people got something as soon as they sat down. Maybe they were friends, neighbors, family, investors... Or maybe we were against the wall and not in plain view, but it's not like we had food in front of us all night and it's not like we didn't have empty beer and water glasses for too long. It's OK. We figured service would be mediocre at best on opening night, but we intentionally made reservations at 6, after a 5 o'clock opening, to avoid the busiest time. By the time we left, there were multiple empty tables, though.

Are my picked nits opening night issues (no bread, poor pizza, iffy service, cold pasta)? I guess we'll find out over time, right?

Damn, I forgot to use "redolent". Maybe next time, m'kay?

Sandy Christmus

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Vienna, VA

 

Why is it that to doctor a document is to falsify it, but to vet it is to check it for its accuracy? - Anu Garg


#7 Pete

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:49 PM

Any idea how to turn off the f*&king music on their website? :angry:

Lisa: Do we have any food that wasn't brutally slaughtered?
Homer: Well, I think the veal died of loneliness.


#8 DrXmus

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:56 PM

Sucks, don't it. You have to click the frikkin' iPod and then figure out which goddamned button is the mo-fo stop button (the square). I don't have a fracking iPod, but if you do, I guess you would know which button to click on. Personally, I can't see the tiny details, so I just click the shit out of it and eventually it'll stop.

Sandy Christmus

http://www.ovvhpets.com

Vienna, VA

 

Why is it that to doctor a document is to falsify it, but to vet it is to check it for its accuracy? - Anu Garg


#9 DrXmus

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 06:07 PM

Any idea how to turn off the f*&king music on their website? :angry:

They have a web site that's also under construction (turn speakers down unless you like UB-40 - the stop button is the 12 o'clock position on the ipod dial in the lower right)


After posting the above reply, I happened to check the top of the thread. Apparently, I'd already figured out how to turn off the music. Sucks getting old.

Sandy Christmus

http://www.ovvhpets.com

Vienna, VA

 

Why is it that to doctor a document is to falsify it, but to vet it is to check it for its accuracy? - Anu Garg


#10 Pete

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:54 PM

After posting the above reply, I happened to check the top of the thread. Apparently, I'd already figured out how to turn off the music. Sucks getting old.


And I can't read, because I should have seen that. Thanks for posting!

Lisa: Do we have any food that wasn't brutally slaughtered?
Homer: Well, I think the veal died of loneliness.


#11 Ericandblueboy

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:57 PM

It may be their soft opening but this place reminds of an episode of Kitchen Nightmare. I counted 3 owner/hosts tonight (at like 5:30 on Sunday) all circulating the floor. At the same time a bunch of friends of the owner were sitting at the small bar, distracting an already clueless bartender. Third, some of the clientele are just douches. One guy at the bar says the martini must be filled to the top of the glass (a pretty big glass) - the bartender complied because she's clueless. Finally, the food's subpar. The fried calamari were fine except the marinara was served cold. The pizza was bland, from the crust to the sauce, to the little dabs of cheese and the sprinkling of sausage. The only thing I can taste is the bitterness of the chopped rapini. The edge of the crust isn't soft and puffy at all. This place is crying for the help of pizza man....

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#12 DrXmus

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 10:42 PM

I counted 3 owner/hosts tonight (at like 5:30 on Sunday) all circulating the floor. At the same time a bunch of friends of the owner were sitting at the small bar, distracting an already clueless bartender. [snip]The pizza was bland, from the crust to the sauce, to the little dabs of cheese and the sprinkling of sausage. The only thing I can taste is the bitterness of the chopped rapini. The edge of the crust isn't soft and puffy at all. This place is crying for the help of pizza man....


I can't argue with any of this. Multiple owners and friends on opening night, too. No douches that I saw, although there wasn't a mirror I could see, so I can't be sure. I will say my pizza had better char and puff. Flavor? Not so much.

Sandy Christmus

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Vienna, VA

 

Why is it that to doctor a document is to falsify it, but to vet it is to check it for its accuracy? - Anu Garg


#13 Biotech

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 09:19 AM

An incredibly disappointing experience. Overpriced, lousy service, oversalted zuppa de pesce that was barely tepid, and an owner that was more concerned with playing the role of Jersey Goomba to his friends than making anything right with our meal. Quite honestly, the people of Vienna are starved for anything that's not a chain restaurant, so this mediocre addition will probably thrive here. We did mention our concerns to him and he actually walked away while I was in mid-sentence.

Chris Topoleski


#14 lonewolfcub

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

Just wanted to chime in that I agree it's overpriced. I was a bit shocked to the prices listed on their menu. Whiles it's nice to have a neopolitan pizza with a good charred crust (on the outside), I don't think I will be a regular due to their inflated prices.



#15 DrXmus

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:46 PM

Went with friends for Sunday lunch. They had a great post-church (I assume) crowd but there were plenty of tables clearing when we got there at 1PM. I think the calamari fritti is outstanding - tender, seasoned, hearty portion, good sauce. The arancini were disappointing. Only 2 pieces which were small, I thought and not very flavorful. Again, we didn't get bread, but the server said we should've gotten it earlier when we asked for it at the end of the meal. Fat lotta help that is, though. I had the focaccia sandwich with capicola and housemade mozz. I enjoyed it. Mrs DrX had the gnocchi (potato) which were light and plentiful. No complaints there. My friends' carbonara was very good, too. The pasta was actually al dente! Shocker. Great flavor and creaminess.

 

All in all, I think the meal we had was very good. I didn't enjoy paying half of the $160 bill (admittedly, it included two carafes of wine and 5 beers).


Sandy Christmus

http://www.ovvhpets.com

Vienna, VA

 

Why is it that to doctor a document is to falsify it, but to vet it is to check it for its accuracy? - Anu Garg






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