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Pacci's Neapolitan Pizza and Pacci's Trattoria, Silver Spring and Forest Glen


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So, I was over on Georgia Avenue this morning where there's a newsstand,where my husband was picking up the Racing Form to handicap the Derby, when I spotted this place called Pacci's Neapolitan Pizzeria - http://paccispizzeria.com/ - opening today. I had to run in and check it out, and there was the wood-burning oven and the pizzaiolo from Naples. I had a brief chat with the owner who assured me that this would be the real thing. They're making fresh mozzerella - and hopefully this will be vera pizza Napolitana. We were going out of town for the weekend, but I hope to check it out on Monday. Looks so promising!

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Ate here last night with 5 other people. I like the pizzas (which is all we had as we were a bit pressed for time). The crust is tasty and folds over nicely with just the right amount of char on the bottom and edges. The menu divides them into red and white. I had a white with cherry tomatoes and house-made mozzarella and thought it was great. My husband had a red with sausage and liked it but wished that the toppings reached closer to the edge. He also ordered an octopus salad but it was unavailable. Our server said they had been so busy over the weekend that they had run out. I guess lots of things are still evolving. The wine list is brief but there will be more to come. Same also with draft beer (none yet).

The decor is nice - sort of Euro/warehouse/modern. The room is long and fairly narrow with a nice bar and more seating in the back. There's also a small enclosed patio with more seating outside. That was closed last night due to the rainy weather but looked pleasant. There is a large county parking garage on the small street (Mayor Lane) that runs directly behind the restaurant which is very convenient. You can enter the lane from Sligo Ave.

They also will be serving espresso and pastries in the morning.

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I know it's not fair to completely judge Pacci's in its first week, but the pizza I had tonight was quite a letdown.

On my Margherita pie ($11.50), the crust was really flavorful, one of the best I've had around, and the sauce was great. What was the problem, then? There was so much oil on this thing that I honestly gave thought to mopping some of it up with my napkin. As a result, the flat part of crust was completely soggy, too. The basil was also poorly placed; I got two leaves stacked up on each other in one part of the pie, meaning that maybe two of my six slices had any basil on them.

My friend got the Il Ripieno calzone (ricotta, mushrooms, ham, mozzarella di bufala, basil) ($13), which was much more successful. It was a little too salty, likely because of the ham, but it stayed together much better than my pizza did, and was absolutely huge; this thing is about the size of a large delivery pizza folded in half on top of itself.

Service was also a huge issue tonight; my pie came out a good five to seven minutes before the calzone did, and I might be generous. I waited for a few minutes, made a bathroom trip, came back, and ate half of my pie before the calzone finally hit the table. It's one thing to not have everything come out together, but this is absurd. It's something that they'll really need to iron out as they move on.

All in all, I wasn't terribly impressed with my meal tonight, but the elements of a good pie ARE there, and I will be back to see if they hit their stride. Without some refinement, though, Pacci's won't hold a candle to some of the better pizza places in the area.

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On my Margherita pie ($11.50), the crust was really flavorful, one of the best I've had around, and the sauce was great. What was the problem, then? There was so much oil on this thing that I honestly gave thought to mopping some of it up with my napkin. As a result, the flat part of crust was completely soggy, too. The basil was also poorly placed; I got two leaves stacked up on each other in one part of the pie, meaning that maybe two of my six slices had any basil on them.

I was there yesterday too. I've attached a scan of their current menu. Does the boxed text entitled Sigillo Di Autenticia imply they're applying for the DOC?

They're very proud of their ingredients and it shows in the sauce. I asked for my Margherita to be extra crispy and though the crust had a few little char marks, it sounds a lot like fuzzy510's pizza. I only got one basil leaf and it was too soggy to pick up and rip into pieces [my M.O. at 2 Amys] for more even distribution. I'm concerned how pizzas with eggplant or marinated artichokes would hold up moisture-wise.

Hopefully their operation will be moving smoothly before the much bigger competition opens a few doors away.

Pacci\'s Menu_May2010.pdf

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The use of the AVPN logo on this menu is suspect at best.

Not on this web page.

I should add that this "approval" is very easy to obtain. I cannot see what would prevent them from achieving their goal, if achieving "DOC" status is indeed their goal.

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To be fair, is it possible that the AVPN is just slow in updating, given that Pacci's has only been open for a week?

yeah, that's fair.

Do they display a certificate signed by Pepe Miele in the dining room or other visible spot inside the building? Or do they have a plastic AVPN sign in the front window, maybe just a sticker, displaying the same logo that is on the menu?

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yeah, that's fair.

Do they display a certificate signed by Pepe Miele in the dining room or other visible spot inside the building? Or do they have a plastic AVPN sign in the front window, maybe just a sticker, displaying the same logo that is on the menu?

Can't say I was looking for any of the above, but the next time I pass by, I'll definitely take a look.

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I ordered a couple of pizzas from Pacci's for lunch today - a Margherita and a Pummarulella (so one with tomato sauce and one white). I couldn't wait until I got the pizzas home and grabbed a slice (well, two) while driving home.

THIS is the pizza I've been waiting for. I like the toothiness, taste, and chew of the crust. This is probably one of the best pizzas I've ever had (as it is to my liking - YMMV). The sauce on the Margherita tasted like tomatoes. Not like sugar. Not like a paste with herbs. Just like crushed, fresh tomatoes. Frankly, I'm not sure I need much else. Oh, some cheese is nice. Maybe an anchovy or basil leaf. But not much else. The crust has just a nice touch of char - nothing too heavy - so it was crisp yet light.

The quality of the pizza definitely suffered within half an hour so I would suggest eating in rather than taking it home (esp considering the traffic and idiocy of downtown SS).

The pizza was ready for pickup in under 15 minutes. $13 for a 10" pie might seem a lot but not when it is such a good pizza. I just hope they stay consistent in their service and quality. The patio looks inviting. And in case the owners are reading....psssst!! a happy hour with discounted beer and pizza would be AWESOME!. I can see spending quite a few afternoons on the patio here.

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My husband and I popped into Pacci's last night and there was a nice crowd (and only a 2 minute wait for seats at their bar).

Had the "la saporita" (white) and "la verace" (red) pizzas. To compare it with Two Amys (as a benchmark, and I had been there this week), I found Pacci's crust to be less airy and a bit chewier. Both had the similar (and typical Two Amys) "soft" center.

The white pizza had smoked provolone (very yum), broccoli rabe (yum) and sausage. While the sausage wasn't greasy, it lacked flavor -- no fennel, no red pepper, no noticeable herbs -- so that was less than good for my tastes. I don't love bland sausage.

The red pizza was tomato sauce, mozz, basil and olive oil. Very tasty. I second Xcanuck's thoughts on the tomato sauce.

The salad was not as good as the pizzas. Our octopus and arugula salad unfortunately had to be sent back. The octopus was so incredibly chewy that it literally would not "break down" in my mouth (sorry if TMI). The server quickly took it off our bill.

Service was slow and new but I understood what I was getting into going to a new place in town. As a Silver Springer, I hope it succeeds. The pizza definitely warrants a return trip. However, I think I'll wait a while to return for service (and octopus) issues to be a little smoother.

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I ended up at Pacci's after an unsuccessful attempt to dine at Ray's the Classics and had a glass of wine & a pizza at the bar. The rose is unspectacular - cold and vaguely fruity - but that's about all I expected. I got the "a paisana" pie, with arugula and proscuitto. The crust is as described above, on the chewy side, but there were spots of char to add flavor. Toppings were high quality, but not enough to make up for the sogginess that started in the center and soaked the crust halfway to the edges. Could it be that the fresh mozzerella isn't drained enough? It was tasty though, so I'm willing to try again.

The bar is not a comfortable place to hang out. It's brightly lit, and visible to every table. I felt like I was onstage, and it made me so uncomfortable that I asked for the check after my first slice.

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I'd popped into Pacci's a few weeks back to check out the (relatively) new kid on the Neapolitan block. Rosario, their pizzaiolo, is from Naples, which would make it hard to impeach their authenticity. Naturally, I had to try his eponymous pie, which was listed on the specials board, and most memorable for its stuffed crust. He piped out a bead of ricotta-based filling around the perimeter, then drew the edge of the crust back over it.

My pizza was good, but based on this one particular sample, I'd rank it in the second tier. The overall structure was right, but the crust itself could have used more flavor, and frankly it could have been fired in a hotter oven. It didn't achieve the combination of tenderness and spotting that great pies do; mine was slightly browned and chewy, as if it it had seen insufficient heat and too much time.

What stood out to me was the pricing - it seem to be almost as expensive as Orso, but lacking the latter's atmosphere and pizza quality. If there's a recent pizzeria that should raise value eyebrows, it's Pacci's.

I'd eat here again, but it's not a destination as a number of Silver Spring's other establishments are.

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What stood out to me was the pricing - it seem to be almost as expensive as Orso, but lacking the latter's atmosphere and pizza quality. If there's a recent pizzeria that should raise value eyebrows, it's Pacci's.

A pizza and a glass of wine cost me $25, including tip. The pie was big enough to share, though. I'll be eating the other half for lunch. What surprised me were the $7-8 salads.

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A pizza and a glass of wine cost me $25, including tip. The pie was big enough to share, though. I'll be eating the other half for lunch. What surprised me were the $7-8 salads.

Two people can dine here relatively inexpensively. Those salads are fairly substantial, so the two of us typically split one of those and a pie. A couple weeks ago, I dined solo. Along with a salad, I had the cotto e funghi panino, which was delicious and filling. I couldn't finish the salad and took half of the sandwich home. Oddly, I was told that they don't serve panini after 6, because it interferes with the kitchen's ability to keep up with pizza orders during the dinner crunch. Though I placed my order close to 7, they made an exception. And the server commented that the menu really should mention the time limit.

I agree with many of the criticisms mentioned above, including the lighting at the bar and that the pizza oven is likely not hot enough. But the quality of the ingredients and the fact that the place is close to home will keep me coming back when I have a pizza craving.

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Toppings were high quality, but not enough to make up for the sogginess that started in the center and soaked the crust halfway to the edges. Could it be that the fresh mozzerella isn't drained enough? It was tasty though, so I'm willing to try again.

I completely agree--my pizza was a sodden mess. As to the atmosphere? A little loud, to put it mildly. (I'm a fan of family-friendliness--I had my kid there, in fact--but this was ridiculous.) And we had terrible service. But the kitchen was slammed. I, too, am willing to try again, especially given the dearth of good pizza in the area.

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On our second visit to Pacci's, we had the Verace (a margherita with AVPN ingredients) and the Poverella (mozz, eggplant, peppers, mushroom, basil, artichoke). I lived in Italy for a year, so having some great Italian pizzas as a basis for comparison, Pacci's pizzas compare favorably in flavor and style. The strengths of Pacci's pizza is the quality and flavor of the ingredients and crust. The weakness is the crust got soggy, especially the Verace. The tomato sauce on the Verace had good flavor, but seemed watery and seemed to be the main culprit for sogging the crust. I mopped up the exuded pizza liquid with some crust, which was tasty in itself, so all was not lost. The pizza prices seemed a bit high to me, but if one lives around Silver Spring, it beats going downtown for a Pacci's pizza that is close to, but not quite like, one in Italy. Nonetheless, I'd say Pacci's has the best pizza in Silver Spring.

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3rd time at Pacci's: Had the Tartufo (provola, mushroom, parm., truffle oil) and the Parmigianella (tomato, eggplant, provola, fontina, parm.). Really liked the flavor of both. Compared to the last time we ate here (see above), much less liquid collected on the plate, although the inner half of the pizza was still soggy. OTOH, the crust had a nice char and still tasted good. I think it's partly due to the crust being very thin. I guess it's just their style, as they've been open a while now and I imagine they've gotten feedback about it by now, but that's still how they make it. Despite the crust texture issue, the flavor of Pacci's pizza is authentically Italian and comes close to (but not quite) what I've had in Italy. Service was very friendly.

BTW, when they first opened they were playing an Italian internet radio station, which was a nice touch. Unfortunately, it's been replaced by an extremely pop XM station. The padrone told me that they got busted by ASCAP, which demanded exorbitant royalty fees for playing Italian radio in Silver Spring, MD! So they switched to XM.

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Took the grandkids to Pacci's Saturday night. Was a crazy scene with lots of people wandering around in "accident victim" get ups. Halloween, I guess. Anyway the pizza was excellent - lightly charred, chewy crust, not underdone at all. I love the "Verace," with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil. Perfect! Service was very engaging.

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4th visit to Pacci's: this time had the Margherita with peppers, which was quite good. The peppers were nicely done and just the right amount. Still suffers from sogginess in the center, but the flavor is good, so it's a minor flaw IMHO. If the pizza price was about 15% lower I'd be even happier.

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Took the grandkids to Pacci's Saturday night. Was a crazy scene with lots of people wandering around in "accident victim" get ups. Halloween, I guess.

I am guessing the fear of Mad Cow's Disease prevents them from offering a special of calf's brain for toppings that night.

Actually, you encountered zombies ! Did you see the one dressed sort of like the Muppet Bert, but with a dangling eyeball? They assembled just down the street at Jackie's and surrounded a Greyhound bus headed for Atlantic City before the actual lurch to downtown Silver Spring.

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Actually, you encountered zombies ! Did you see the one dressed sort of like the Muppet Bert, but with a dangling eyeball? They assembled just down the street at Jackie's and surrounded a Greyhound bus headed for Atlantic City before the actual lurch to downtown Silver Spring.

Well, that explains it! Didn't see the dangling eyeball, but there was a guy at the next table with a nail sticking out of his forehead that the kids found intriguing.

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The restaurant formerly known as the General Store and Post Office Tavern is soon to become another outpost for Pacci's. It will be called "Pacci's Trattoria & Pasticceria". Oh, pastries! Just what my expanding waste waist line needs.

I love the pies from Pacci's in downtown SS so looking forward to some excellent food only a few blocks from my home. We saw people working on the renos last week.

Facebook page

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Sounds good to me, especially

"Gioldasis is also negotiating to hire two well-known pastry chefs to prepare the Italian desserts. The restaurant will have table service and an espresso bar, and be open from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. everyday. Carryout will be offered as well."

Nice to have a good coffee and pastry option open that early.

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Coming back nearly a year and a half later, I guess my initial problems weren't opening-jitters related. My pie was still soggy as can be in the center, to the point where there was a puddle on my plate. No thanks.

The crust and sauce still probably make this the best pizza in Silver Spring, but I really don't think I want to bother again.

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Met another family for dinner here the other night, and since there aren't any reviews in a while feel obligated to post. Since the last time we ate here, probably a couple years, they have changed the crust. It is now more doughy and thicker so no longer the soggy centers which defintiely were a problem previously, but the crust also lack the nice crispness that was what I liked about them most. Toppings are still good and the combinations interesting.

Like Pete's Pacci's carries the tradition of really expensive pizza for Silver Spring. There are other places, but these are probably the only two I have found worth getting as opposed to making my own at home, but too expensive to make it a regular outing.

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the pizza isn't cheap, but i think their margharita is pretty decent, decent enough that i don't feel obliged to run to two amy's all the time. i agree that the crust isn't crispy, but i don't mind that in a neopolitan style pizza. ymmv. 

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They're supposed to be opening a pizzeria in the old Park Cafe space on Capitol Hill, but it's been an ongoing project for a long time now and it does not seem close to being open.

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