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Il Pinito Trattoria, Nicholson Lane in Rockville

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No, Il Pizzico is good - or used to be, we haven't been in several years - but not a good place to take little kids.
I hope it wasn't Il Pinito (the little place on Nicholson Lane between the Pike and Boiling Brook), which I haven't been to in a while but was always very good and many compared it to Il Pizzico. Il Pinito often had a reasonable soft-shell special.



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I think Il Pinito is very, very good. The setting isn't much, plastic table clothes and overhead lighting. The service is good if none of the waiters called in sick that day. And it's very kid friendly.

It's a Pines of Rome knockoff, but one of the better ones in the area. The pastas do tend to be a bit overcooked, and the tomato sauce is not much more than canned tomatoes, crushed by hand, and simmered briefly with some olive oil and garlic, but that's kind of the beauty of it.

We especially like the white pizza with lots of fontina cheese and heady with garlic. The regular pizza is not good. Order the marinated peppers and anchovies to go with it. The white beans are good, the fried mushrooms are good, and the calamari is fine. Skip the salads with bottled dressing.

We like the spaghetti and marinara with sweet sausage, the eggplant parmesean, the chicken saltibuco (sp?), the linguini with marinara and mussels or clams, and the lasagne.

But the real stars are the specials printed on the board out front. The grilled rockfish is the best I've ever had, anywhere. It perfectly grilled, moist and tender inside, crispy skin on the outside, with a hint of olive oil and garlic. Absolutely delicious and usually more than I can eat. Just as good is the roasted veal (NOT the grilled veal chop). They must roast an entire veal prime rib roast for 6-8 hours, very, very low, basting it constantly with olive oil, wine, broth and drippings. They serve you a huge melt in your mouth portion along with a side of pasta and sauce. (They do the exact same thing with lamb, but rarely.) The roast chicken is good, and the Lobster Fra Diablo is outstanding.

The bread is store bought. The Chianti is cheap, albiet room temperature. And the cannolli is fine, albiet a little too cold. Espresso is passable at best.

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I think you hit the highlights of the problems I had there. We were looking for a red-sauce Italian meal, so the bland sauce and overcooked pasta kind of killed the meal for us. They did do a nice job with the kids, and the side of white beans were very good.

I'll have to go back to try some of the meats and specials, which still makes it NOT the red-sauce Italian place I was looking for. :)

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We especially like the white pizza with lots of fontina cheese and heady with garlic. The regular pizza is not good. Order the marinated peppers and anchovies to go with it.

I tried a Large White Pizza with Fontina ($9.50) today and enjoyed it. Although I didn't get the marinated peppers and anchovies, I can see how they'd be a perfect match. Extra fontina is available for $1, but there's already plenty of it on the standard white pizza. There's something about the chew and flavor of this crust that reminds me of what I like(d?) about Dominic's, and that's not a bad thing.

Sing along with me now:

"I'm ... dream-ing of a white ... pizza ..."

Bing(-Cherry) Crosby

Who would name their kid "Bing?"

Dave Bing was cool though (Spingarn H.S.).

Earl Jones transferred to Spingarn from Mount Hope, WV for his senior year.

Mount Hope is near the New River Gorge bridge, which is the highest drivable bridge in North America.

People bungee jump off of the New River Gorge bridge.

"Bungee" originates from the West County (England) dialect, and means "anything thick or squat."

Squats are considered the best single exercise for overall lower-body development.

Trying to think how I'm going to wind my way back to Il Pinito but not having much luck here.

Rockville Pike has too much development, especially for driving during lunch hour.

It took me a long time to drive during lunch hour from V.O.B. to Il Pinito.




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