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Oakville Wine Bar (Formerly Geppetto), Wildwood Shopping Center in Bethesda


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I've seen Geppetto in the good old days, back when there was a branch going strong in Georgetown. However, it's been almost five years since my last meal there, a pleasant lunch in what is now Oakville Grille and Wine Bar, a restaurant with the same ownership (Karol, has it really been that long?)

Now relegated to an alleyway entrance to what used to be a back room, Geppetto no longer feels the same. When I walked by a table, I saw a pretty decent-looking roast chicken, which is a good sign for Oakville Grille, but I was there for the money item - the Sicilian Deep-Dish pie that Geppetto has been famous for since 1977.

I've had it numerous times in the past, and have always enjoyed it, even as recently as five years ago I remember walking out thinking how impressed I was with it; no longer.

Oh, the old, bent deep-dish pans are still there, and the pizza is as thick as it has ever been (they claim one-inch, but it seems even thicker than that). A large Meat Lover's ($25) was one of the heaviest pizzas I have ever seen, a 15-inch monster cut into six slices, each weighing perhaps two pounds. The base of this pizza is cheap, bready crust that reminds me of bad frozen industrial-white bread, the bottom of which was somewhat golden, but not enough to make it exciting. The toppings were simply excessive, a sweet tomato sauce countering all the meats, including pepperoni, sausage, bacon, proscuitto ham, and ground beef. The ground beef smelled like well-done ground beef, which isn't a surprise, but how often do you actually get that scent in a pizza? The pepperoni was bulk-quality, curled-up slices, and was so dominant that when the pizza arrived, it looked like a Matthew's tomato pie - I honestly thought at first glance that these were plum tomatoes. We each counted around 50 slices on half the pie, which meant there were fully 100 slices of pepperoni on six slices of pizza. It was a nitrate festival gone wrong. I washed it down with the only beer on the list that interested me, a bottle of Mendocino Red Tail Ale ($6), perhaps a nod to the days when this restaurant group owned Mendocino Grille, although I don't know if Charles Lenkin is involved any more or not.

I got into a lengthy discussion with my young dining companion about the pie, originally stating that it had no redeeming qualities other than it was cheap, and that it was bulky. He disagreed, correctly pointing out that it could have been a lot greasier, and that Pizza Hut is much, much worse than this. I can't vouch for Pizza Hut, but I do give Geppetto credit for draining the grease off their ground beef before piling it on; the overall impression was: sodium-ridden, yes, but grease-ridden, not as much as it could have been.

Regardless, this was not the Geppetto of old. However, if you want a lot of pizza, for not a lot of money (I only wanted to eat 1 1/4 slices, although I could have eaten 2), then this pie might meat (sorry) your kneads (sorry). I won't be rushing back, and I even have a twinge of sadness as I write this, because I used to love Geppetto.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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On 11/22/2009 at 10:55 AM, DonRocks said:

I've seen Geppetto in the good old days, back when there was a branch going strong in Georgetown. However, it's been almost five years since my last meal there, a pleasant lunch in what is now Oakville Grille and Wine Bar, a restaurant with the same ownership (Karol, has it really been that long?)

Now relegated to an alleyway entrance to what used to be a back room, Geppetto no longer feels the same. When I walked by a table, I saw a pretty decent-looking roast chicken, which is a good sign for Oakville Grille, but I was there for the money item - the Sicilian Deep-Dish pie that Geppetto has been famous for since 1977.

I've had it numerous times in the past, and have always enjoyed it, even as recently as five years ago I remember walking out thinking how impressed I was with it; no longer.

...

Regardless, this was not the Geppetto of old. However, if you want a lot of pizza, for not a lot of money (I only wanted to eat 1 1/4 slices, although I could have eaten 2), then this pie might meat (sorry) your kneads (sorry). I won't be rushing back, and I even have a twinge of sadness as I write this, because I used to love Geppetto.

Wow, I can't believe it has been this long - I distinctly remember this meal at Oakville Wine Bar, which was then just a side-alley portion of Geppetto; I had noticed the sign that implied the entire restaurant became Oakville, but forgot to update this thread. 

If anyone remembers the Geppetto on M Street in Georgetown, way back in the 1980s, they remember the best deep-dish pizza in town (after Nino (which nobody probably remembers) closed) - with Armand's, Uno, Geppetto, and Nino, DC used to be a fairly strong Chicago-style pizza pocket; no longer. 

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