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Little Beast - Italian-American Cafe at Connecticut Avenue and McKinley Street in Chevy Chase, DC

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DH indulged me, so we headed over to Little Beast for opening night.  I’ve been consistently underwhelmed by the restaurants in Chevy Chase, but as a Bakers & Baristas fan (and eternal optimist), I had high hopes this time.

AND THEY WERE MET (maybe even exceeded)!  Pizza was Neopolitan style but with a slightly thinner crust than I’m accustomed to.  Lots of char and no sogginess.  We played it safe (pepperoni), so it’ll take some experimentation before I can compare it with my faves.  But I can confidently say it’s the best pizza we’ve ever had in walking distance of home (Friendship Heights for the past 20-odd years).  Thinner crust turned out to be a plus (no leftovers).  We also had a lamb ragu, which was the highlight of the meal, and roasted broccoli with lemon and garlic.  Reasonable prices and portions.  Nothing was revelatory but everything was very tasty. 

The space was clean but not sterile (we ate inside — outside looked more popular).  Lighting might benefit from some tweaking (bulbs in recessed canisters were too blue — bugged DH more than me — I was facing the incandescent fixtures).  Service was friendly, attentive, and thoughtful. 

Basically, Little Beast looks like it has the makings of a perfect neighborhood restaurant.  A comfortable hassle-free place with food at least as good as I could make myself.  And a place that’s welcoming to all ages and can handle parties of different sizes.  

It’ll be a couple of weeks before the cafe hours/menu kick in and I’m eager to check that out as well.  Pastries look more interesting than Little Red Fox’s.  I think the all-ages thing may be trickier to pull off in a cafe.  

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