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Pizza CS (2011-2020), Owners Jonathan Allen and Ankur Rajpara's Fantastic Pizza in Rockville - Closing in 2020

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Driving through Rockville today, I felt a strange urge to detour through the parking lot where Three Brothers used to be - I hadn't noticed that this location had closed - and in its place was a dusty construction site and signage for "Pizza CS - napoletana, come sempre".

Judging from the Google results, it looks like owners Ankur Rajpara and Jonathan Allen may have originally intended to open in Baltimore's Canton area before settling down in Rockville.

There's the stalled rough beginnings of a website nowhere near ready for public viewing, PizzaCS.com, but the most up-to-date info comes from their Facebook page, which shows the delivery of their Stefano Ferrara oven in July and predicts an October opening date.

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Hello all-

I'm the co-owner of Pizza CS and can confirm that we're planning to open next month in the aforementioned space. We're currently wrapping up construction and are gearing up for inspections later this month.

At this time, I can share that we'll be serving traditional Neapolitan pizzas, salads, and old-fashioned ice cream from JJ Hoffman's Creamery in Carroll County, in addition to beer and wine by the glass.

The best places to keep tabs on our progress are our Facebook or Twitter until we announce our opening and the website is ready.

Both Jon and I are really excited to be part of the Rockville/DC community and dining scene. Thank you for welcoming us to the forum!

-Ankur

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Hello all-

I'm the co-owner of Pizza CS and can confirm that we're planning to open next month in the aforementioned space. We're currently wrapping up construction and are gearing up for inspections later this month.

At this time, I can share that we'll be serving traditional Neapolitan pizzas, salads, and old-fashioned ice cream from JJ Hoffman's Creamery in Carroll County, in addition to beer and wine by the glass.

The best places to keep tabs on our progress are our Facebook or Twitter until we announce our opening and the website is ready.

Both Jon and I are really excited to be part of the Rockville/DC community and dining scene. Thank you for welcoming us to the forum!

-Ankur

Hi Folks-

It's been a long journey. We'd like to thank you all for your messages of support and for welcoming us to the forum.

We're officially set for our Grand Opening on Tuesday, November 8th. biggrin.gif And to help celebrate, we'll be offering $6 Margherita Pizzas, or $3 off any other pizza, through November 27th.

For more info and our menu, our website is now available.

-Ankur

Pizza CS

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Even though the "grand opening" is not until next week, they are open for lunch this week.

Anyone want to go on Thursday?

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Stopped in yesterday for lunch. A very solid pie. Nice chew to the crust, excellent tomato sauce. Very well designed space. While Puputella remains the number 1 pie for me around DC, I really liked CS. A much appreciated alternative to Matchbox across the street. I think that they will do well and I'll be back.

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Remember what the prices were like by any chance?

Three of us swung by for lunch at noon today.

Considering that this is their second day of operation, they're doing pretty good. Crust had a good flavor and a nice chew (could use a touch more salt), a good char (I personally would have left it in there 10 more seconds for a bit more char and a little more melt on the cheese, but I'm sure they're still getting used to the oven) and the quality of the ingredients was very high. I tried the CS Margherita (Crushed San Marzano Tomato, Buffalo Mozzarella, Basil), and the Moto (Fresh Mozzarella, Pancetta, Brussels Sprouts, Garlic).

Service was excellent and friendly. Ankur and Jonathan were both very happy to take time to talk about the operation with us.

JPW is spot-on: Pupatella remains the gold standard in the area, but this pie was very good, and I'm very excited to have it 10 minutes from the house. I will certainly return.

BTW - had a small taste of the ice cream, rich and creamy, but the fudge ripple was a little light on the fudge flavor.

Oh, and the website lists only the menu, not the prices, but when you "download" the PDF menu, the prices are there. Pie with fountain soda and tax was $15.

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Finally got to stop in here last night. The place was completely empty when we got there around 7:30, though a few other groups showed up shortly after we did. The place itself is pretty nice, lots of space, and they have some interesting art on the walls.

The beer selection is a little sparse at the moment. They've got Magic Hat #9 and Peroni on tap, neither of which inspires any excitement in me. They had a few others in bottles though, including the Dogfish Nut Brown, which is solid enough. They could definitely stand to beef up the selection a bit here, and maybe swap some more exciting stuff into the taps.

As for the pizza, we ended up getting 4 different ones. I got the Carne, which I ended up being a little disappointed with as it was pretty greasy and floppy in the middle. The flavor was quite good though, and I really enjoyed the crust on it. Later I also tried a white 4-cheese pizza (the Quattro I think it was), which I thought was VERY good. I love ricotta on my pizza, and I would definitely get this one again next time I go. Or maybe the Jonny instead ...

The prices are quite good too, and compared to Matchbox you're getting a slightly larger pizza (11" vs 10") for about 2-3$ less on average. You also won't have to wait an hour for a table at dinner time.

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My husband and I stopped in Pizza CS around 8 last night. It was empty when we got there (several more customers came in later), but the beautiful wood-burning oven was fired up. We ordered 2 pizzas, a Caesar salad and a couple glasses of wine. I had the Margherita - tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil and my husband had the sausage variety, with buffalo mozzarella and peppers I think. We loved the crust. It seems very authentic Neapolitan - puffy edges, tasty and pliant with some nice char. The toppings while good, seemed a bit sparse, although I realize that's the way Neapolitan-style pizzas are. We enjoyed the salad and found the small selection of wines reasonably priced and good partners for pizza. Although there are plenty of tables, the restaurant has a casual, take-out feeling about it.

We enjoyed chatting with the friendly owners, discussing dough-making, ovens and equipment. We plan to return. Try them out soon while they are discounting all pizzas by $3 and you can try several!

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Took advantage again of the discounted pies (through 11/27), and swung by for dinner while running errands on the Pike.

My two minor quibbles from opening week were that the pies needed a touch more salt, and 10 more seconds in the oven. Problems solved, happy to say. My CS Margherita was perfectly cooked, puffy edges and a good char, and just the right amount of salt. Jonathan told me the problem wasn't actually with the salt level, but in fact with the yeast and the salt absorption. Whatever - they're putting out a kick ass pie right now, IMHO the best in MoCo (though I haven't tried Pacci's yet).

I can't say you should drive across town for it - this is still a $10 pizza we're talking about, but if you're going to be anywhere nearby I highly recommend stopping in. And definitely talk to Jonathan and Ankur, who are splendid hosts.

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We stopped in on Thursday night. We ordered two pizzas--Margherita and a white pizza with brussell sprouts.

I thought the service was very friendly and quite good. They were bemused by a 4.5 year old saying, "Excuse me, may we please have a carryout box" and that always gets bonus points from me. I like it when other people think he's cute too.

I thought the toppings were tasty but the crusts were too floppy. I've never been to Italy. I don't know what is authentic and what isn't. But these were not crispy enough for my taste.

But it sure as heck beat the pants off of a very loud pizza place across the street that would have cost a heck of a lot more money.

I'm sure we'll be back, even when the price gets a little higher.

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We were there Friday night. This is a really fun place with a foozball and a shuffleboard-type game to amuse the kiddies. I love that it is fast casual and informal. I enjoyed our pizzas quite a bit. I thought they were crispy, charred, and well balanced, not much problem with sogginess and overly cheesiness like I thought of Pizza De Marco when it first opened. My only critique would be to reduce the char just the smallest skosh, but this my personal preference and I'll mention it next time I order. Great place, friendly service, and they seemed to have a steady crowd last night. As a Twinkbrookian, I wish this place all the best.

The Ignacio

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We were there Friday night. This is a really fun place with a foozball and a shuffleboard-type game to amuse the kiddies. I love that it is fast casual and informal. I enjoyed our pizzas quite a bit. I thought they were crispy, charred, and well balanced, not much problem with sogginess and overly cheesiness like I thought of Pizza De Marco when it first opened. My only critique would be to reduce the char just the smallest skosh, but this my personal preference and I'll mention it next time I order. Great place, friendly service, and they seemed to have a steady crowd last night. As a Twinkbrookian, I wish this place all the best.

The Ignacio

We were also there Friday night, and I was very happy with our pizzas. We caught them at the end of the night, and after a little bit of confusion (followed by effusive apologies) we got two very good pies. The Carne had a nice sausage and pepperoni, and I really enjoyed it. My wife's white pizza, with ricotta and peppers, was also good and an interesting flavor combination. They came out just a touch soggy, but also perfectly charred, in my opinion, and after a few minutes the soggy-ness became part of the pie and the flavors were wonderful. We will definitely be back--this place does look like fun, and the pizzas will keep us coming back. We didn't try the ice cream, but it looked interesting and we'll check it out the next time that we are there.

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Five of us stopped by tonight and had a lovely time. I had my new favorite pizza - their Rocket; fresh mozzarella, grape tomato, arugula, grana, lemon juice, EVOO and basil. Wow, delicious! So we had a few draft Peroni's, a bottle of Orvieto, house salad, a few pizzas - just really pleasant, and what a great crust! :)

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It's been an amazing first month. Many thanks to all of you for the support and feedback! Our team and I strive to do better every day, so please keep introducing yourselves and keep those comments coming :).

Starting tomorrow, December 6th, we're introducing a few specials for the month of December. First off is $2 Tuesdays, where we'll be serving $2 drafts of Peroni and Magic Hat #9 all day. Secondly, we're starting the CS happy hour from 5p-7p Tuesday - Friday with $3 drafts and $4 wines from A Mano.

We also have a new weekday lunch special: an 11" Margherita pizza, a fountain drink, and a scoop of our delicious, JJ Hoffman's ice cream - for $10 (tax included).

Lastly, keep an eye on our Twitter feed or Facebook page for additional pizza specials. We recently offered free upgrades to Buffalo Mozzarella on any pizza, courtesy of Bufalatte, and hope to do so again soon.

Happy Holidays!

Ankur

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Stopped in here for lunch on Saturday after fighting holiday traffic on Rockville Pike, also had a Capitol Deal coupon in the car. In short, we really enjoyed the pizzas here. Wife and I split a SONIA (Fresh Mozzarella, Spinach, Roasted Peppers, Red Onion, Mushroom, Olive, Basil) - $11. Really liked the crust and topping were fresh, could have used another couple seconds in the oven. Also split the CS HOUSE (Spring Mix, Grape Tomato,Parsley, Mint, Grana Padano, Balsamic Vinaigrette) - $5 for large. Nothing special but a decent value. Kids each had their own kids pies: GIA (Crushed San Marzano Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella) - $6; SOPHIA (Crushed San Marzano Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella, Pepperoni) - $6.50. The shuffleboard table kept the kids entertained. Will happily bypass the debacle across the street and head here next time we are in the neighborhood.

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Will happily bypass the debacle across the street and head here next time we are in the neighborhood.

Agreed. Although the pies were better a few days ago than any time in the past, they lost me when he said the French Onion soup was topped with provolone.

DUDE. Really? WTF!

No, it's not a French bistro, I get it. But give a brother some credit.

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Stopped in here for lunch on Saturday after fighting holiday traffic on Rockville Pike

I've greatly enjoyed their pies and agree that they've solved the saltiness of their crust.

I initially had difficulty picturing a white pizza with brussel sprouts among the toppings, but now dream about the Moto's individual, previously blanched, sprout petals upturned with their delicate edges charred by the oven.

Will happily bypass the debacle across the street and head here next time we are in the neighborhood.

Pizza CS is definitely an improvement over last year's experience.

- Happy Holidays to all from Team CS!

Saturday Dec 24th: 12p-3p

Sunday Dec 25th: Closed

Saturday Dec 31st: 12p-3p

Sunday Jan 1st: Closed

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Agree that they're finally getting the pizza really right. What we had on our second visit is probably the second best neapolitan pizza in the area, right behind Enzo's pies. The crust is almost perfect (I think Enzo's crusts are perfect). The toppings are fresh, tasty, and well distributed. On our first visit, we felt the pies were around Pizza De Marco's range, but now they are really getting it.

Please go now! It was really quiet when we went this week and I really want this place to thrive. With pizza this good and a very chill staff, Pizza CS deserves to thrive.

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Perhaps some advertising would help. If you don't know it's there, you don't know it's there. I read about Pizza CS on this site and work nearby, but then I forgot about it. I was in the parking lot of Pier One the other day, saw the restaurant, and remembered reading about it here. It is back on my radar now so I'll try and stop by soon. But if there's been any advertising, I've missed it.

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Nothing new to add, but wanted to make sure this topic keeps getting popped to the top. Lunch today was high notes across the board - Soppresata, CS Sausage, and Jonny, a split mixed green salad, and not a crumb of food left on the table.

Everyone there is friendly and helpful, and I managed to catch the first part of Jon's adorable daughter's first birthday party.

Oh, and in case you didn't catch this note from Ankur earlier, this is a great deal:

We also have a new weekday lunch special: an 11" Margherita pizza, a fountain drink, and a scoop of our delicious, JJ Hoffman's ice cream - for $10 (tax included).

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Hi Everyone,

Starting this week, we're introducing Wine Wednesday, where all bottles are 50% off. And we're continuing with our other specials, like $2 Drafts of Peroni and Magic Hat #9 on Tuesdays and our Weekday lunch special for $10.

Jon and I have been working on some new pies and plan to introduce them over the coming weeks.

To begin, we'll be serving our new S'more dessert pie on Sundays: malted and sugared crust with melted chocolate, charred marshmallows, graham crumbles, and whipped cream. :)

We look forward to serving you soon,

Ankur

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Hi Everyone,

Starting this week, we're introducing Wine Wednesday, where all bottles are 50% off. And we're continuing with our other specials, like $2 Drafts of Peroni and Magic Hat #9 on Tuesdays and our Weekday lunch special for $10.

Jon and I have been working on some new pies and plan to introduce them over the coming weeks.

To begin, we'll be serving our new S'more dessert pie on Sundays: malted and sugared crust with melted chocolate, charred marshmallows, graham crumbles, and whipped cream. :)

We look forward to serving you soon,

Ankur

We took advantage of this wine offer last night. We had already planned to meet friends there for dinner, so this was an unexpected nice bonus. Pizzas were great as always!

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We also have a new weekday lunch special: an 11" Margherita pizza, a fountain drink, and a scoop of our delicious, JJ Hoffman's ice cream - for $10 (tax included).

Today's lunch was great break in an otherwise trying [but successful] day. First time for the ice cream; Butterscotch and creamy. Their WiFi availability was a welcome surprise.

The Margherita was a perfectly simple and tasty reminder to get back to Pizza CS more often.

Thanks again, Jon, for the Manhattan recs - I'll let you know how it goes.

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This place sounds great! The website is totally unhelpful, though. Cute graphics on Home page, but no address, no hours listed, directions....

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