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Oro Pomodoro - Pizzeria Napoletana on Maryland Avenue in Rockville Town Center - Closed


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Hi -- my first post. Oro Pomodoro, a new pizza/Italian restaurant will open for business for dinner this Friday. The menu and decor look interesting and inviting. I'm not connected with the restaurant, but am looking forward to going. It is located in the new Rockville Town Center across the square from the Library, between Lebanese Taverna and Greystone. Steve

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Hi -- my first post. Oro Pomodoro, a new pizza/Italian restaurant will open for business for dinner this Friday. The menu and decor look interesting and inviting. I'm not connected with the restaurant, but am looking forward to going. It is located in the new Rockville Town Center across the square from the Library, between Lebanese Taverna and Greystone. Steve

I might swing by this weekend and take a look. I'm always on the lookout for another red-sauce Italian place in Rockville, and it can't possibly be worse than the other one in the new RTC, Primo Italiano.

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We went to Oro Pomodoro at about 7:00pm last night, its second evening of operation. The room was about 2/3 full (many families with young kids at that hour) and owner Savino was limiting the crowd so that the new servers were not overwhelmed. Service was a little hectic and occasionally a bit confused, but nothing serious and that will likely smooth out in coming weeks.

The ambiance is on purpose casual (paper napkins) but the room has a nice decor - lots of attractive touches make the space very pleasant. When full, it will be loud. Old Italian movies are shown on a big projection screen on one side of the room; a long bar that was beginning to get crowded on the other. There is an an open kitchen at the rear with a prominent pizza oven.

Pizza Neopolitan style is the feature; according to Savino, that means a relatively soft crust rather than the crisp crust typical from Rome north. A wide variety of toppings, with prices from $9.95 to $15.95 for a 12-inch pie (the only size).

We started with a small helping of eggplant parmigiana and small mozzarella balls with sundried tomatoes and pesto (not on the web site menu). Both very tasty. Then a pizza capricciosa to share. Also very tasty, good amount of cheese, good tomato sauce, generous amount of toppings. Dessert included fried strips of pizza dough topped with nutella, which could be addictive.

Reasonable wine list, priced from $29 to a little over $50. We had a $33 Sardinian red.

All in all, an above average neighborhood place, certainly an improvement over the chain restaurants in Rockville Town Square. Good for before or after the movies, or a casual lunch or evening meal.

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"Our Famous Oro Pizza"??? Please tell me how a the pizza at a shop that has not even opened yet be called famous?

According to what is printed on the menu (not on the website), it's because the pizza maker is a 4th generation pizzaiolo, well known in Italy, who can trace his family tree back to the guy that created the Pizza Margherita. The restaurant is actually named after him, as his nickname was Golden (oro) Hands for his skill with dough.

We had a very nice dinner there tonight. The staff was very warm and gracious from Savino down to the busser. Savino was very happy to respond to questions, and I spoke with him at some length about his vision for the place, his suppliers, the menu, etc. Nearly everything in the restaurant that is not sourced locally or made in-house is imported from Italy. He said that whatever pasta is not made in-house is made for him fresh in Italy and quickly sent here (along with his twice-weekly shipments of burratta). He was impressed that I knew about burratta (thanks, Dean!)

Though we did not try the pizza this trip, the soft breadsticks that came with the burratta were outstanding, and if this is the pizza dough, then it's instantly in my top few for the area. We did the burratta with avocado and wine grape tomatoes. The avocado was buttery, and probably more than half an avocado. The grape tomatoes were firm but sweet - maybe hothouse? The combination of them with the burratta and a nice pour of olive oil and some fresh herbs was outstanding.

(Note: that bread is so good, I hope they consider putting it out in a bread basket on the table.)

The fried rice balls stuffed with mozzarella were good, but not exciting. Kids scarfed them down. The tomato sauce they serve it with was excellent - tasted like tomatoes, not sugar. I assume this will be the same sauce that appears on the pizza.

We each got a pasta for dinner. My son wanted spaghetti with meatballs, which is not on the menu. I knew they had meatballs, as they are listed as an appetizer. Without even hesitating, the waitress said this wasn't a problem. I fully expected (and would not have complained) had they charged for an appetizer portion of meatballs on the price of the spaghetti pomodoro. Nope - not even an upcharge. Classy move. My daughter just wanted a half-order of rigatoni with olive oil. No problem, and they charged us half the price of the cheapest pasta on the menu, and still brought what looked like a full order to the table. My wife and I shared the Tortellini (stuffed with veal and pork, flavored with cream, green peas, and Prosciutto) and the Penne (alla Mario a Maria, with onions, prosciutto, fava beans, and sun-dried tomatoes). Both were very good. I thought they were a bit heavy handed with the cream on the Tortellini, and I prefer crunchy peas, but the flavor was excellent on both.

Portions are substantial - we had a bit of leftovers even after sharing only the two appetizers, and eating on the late side.

Total with 4 soft drinks was about $75 for the family before tax/tip, which I consider to be quite reasonable for this meal. No question that I will be back. I can't say it's worth driving across town for, but MoCo residents should consider dropping by before this place gets packed.

And, in the spirit of Sietsema, I will say that the vaulted ceilings, tile and hardwood floors, and uncovered tables, while attractive, are going to make this place outrageously loud when busy. You could hear the beginnings of a din when we were there, and it was only about 1/3 full.

Nice looking bar, too.

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JML3 had originally written about it being Sicilian, but has since changed the post. That makes more sense.

[in full disclosure, I made a very, very rare edit, changing "Sicilian" to "Neopolitan" after he issued his post saying he made a mistake. And I was running out the door and didn't have time to tell him.]

Here is his post from last night (which I deleted after I made the edit):

Just looked at my post, and realize an error. As the title of the thread says, the pizzas are Neapolitan style, not Sicilian.
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Did anyone notice if the oven was burning wood or gas, or a combination? Was the floor rotating?

I checked-- wood burning with rotating floor.

The pizza's damn good. So was the olive oil flight, burrata (though you'll get more gooey cheese for your $ at Dino), roasted veggies (eggplant rocked), and salad (a little heavy handed on the dressing though).

Our server, Guiseppe (come on, is that really his name?), was knowledgeable and friendly. I like the space too (though where were the Italian movies?). This will be a regular stop for the Dentes.

Arrivederci,

Al (Dente)

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...(though where were the Italian movies?)...

When you walk in the front door, the bar is to the left, and dining room to the right. On the right wall, in the middle of the dining room, is a giant screen. The movies were running there when I was there the other night. (no sound, FWIW.)

There were 2 smaller TVs in the bar, also no sound. One was showing a ballgame, the other news in Italian on one of the international channels.

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When you walk in the front door, the bar is to the left, and dining room to the right. On the right wall, in the middle of the dining room, is a giant screen. The movies were running there when I was there the other night. (no sound, FWIW.)

There were 2 smaller TVs in the bar, also no sound. One was showing a ballgame, the other news in Italian on one of the international channels.

Last night the big screen had the news from that unforgiveably sensationalist cable news network-- the one that's even worse than Fox Noise. 24-hour coverage of missing underage blondes.

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I've tried this place too. Very good! The pizza is excellent - its the pizza 2Amys thinks they make. Unlike 2Amys soupy mess, Oro'd dough is cooked to a soft chewy texture, just the right amount of sauce and cheese - and you can hold it without it falling apart. We also had the arancinni (sp) for an appitizer - it was good, but had better at Filomenas. (Actually i've made better on my own.) Also a tortelini pasta dish in a cream sauce - excellent! Just don't plan on having your cholestrol checked anytime soon after eating here!

The place has only been open a week, so they have some kinks to workout. The waiter was never notified he had a table, first of all. So we waited over 10 minutes just to get water. Then the entrees came out before we'd even gotten halfway thru the appitizer. The waiter also couldn't answer several questions we had about items on the menu, and had to go ask. We also didn't get the dessert we ordered. Everything was very good though, so the service problems didn't bother me too much.

A welcome addition to Rockville, looking forward to going back.

(Oh, and the big screen was turned off.)

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We took my mother-in-law to Oro Pomodoro for her 84th birthday on a Saturday evening. The food was very good. The pizza crust was one of the best I ever had. Prices were reasonable. Service was adequate. BUT it is not a place to bring anyone who has even the slightest hearing problem. The restaurant was very LOUD. Attempts at conversation were frustrating. For a quiet dinner I would go elsewhere, but if you don't mind shouting at your dinner companions the food is tasty.

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...it is not a place to bring anyone who has even the slightest hearing problem. The restaurant was very LOUD. Attempts at conversation were frustrating. For a quiet dinner I would go elsewhere, but if you don't mind shouting at your dinner companions the food is tasty.
And, in the spirit of Sietsema, I will say that the vaulted ceilings, tile and hardwood floors, and uncovered tables, while attractive, are going to make this place outrageously loud when busy. You could hear the beginnings of a din when we were there, and it was only about 1/3 full.

Welcome, edknees!

I am not surprised at all at what you experienced, based on my earlier visit. I can't imagine coming here for a weekend dinner, or even a weeknight once people discover this place.

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Had lunch here today. None of the "fritture" were on the lunch menu? The vegatali misti appetizer was good except that the summer squash was mostly seeds.

The pizze were not great. The dough had the proper saltiness, but no char, under cooked on the bottom and strangely fermented/proofed, as in under.

I had tried to go yesterday for lunch and jokingly commented, after finding out they were closed, "maybe their dough didn't rise." Seems like I may have been right. I would go so far as to say that based on my experience, every single pizzeria mentioned in todays Washington Post would be a better bet.

However, the place is pretty, the oven is interesting, (silly. rotating floor, geez.) and you can see the potential in the pizze and the 2 salads that were available today. I think with time it will be better.

*Edit* I almost forgot, the guy with the spiky hair and acne that dropped off our pizze, (not our waiter) called me senora as he put the plate down. I could be mistaken but I think that he was calling me a woman... Luckily I didn't pick up the tab or pay the tip.

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We went to Oro Pomodoro for the first time last night. We had the fried rice balls, burrata with prosciutto, penne with fava beans/sundried tomatoes, and one of the pizzas.

Fried rice balls were crispy without being greasy. A light hand with the seasoning made it imperative to use the dipping sauces. The portion size of burrata was criminally small given how much we paid for it (over $10). I also would have preferred a drier, more intense flavoured prosciutto. The penne was very tasty but could've used just a bit more olive oil. The pasta seemed a little dry as it cooled down. The crunchy bits of fried ham, fava beans, and sundried tomatoes provided an excellent flavour.

The pizza is the main attraction here. It had a really nice char on the bottom and a well developed flavour. No bland pizza crust here! I also liked the fact that there is a large rim on the pie. When the dough is this good, it's nice to be able to chew on a big bite of it and appreciate it on it's own. They didn't have a heavy hand with the sauce, which is fine by me.

As noted by others, this is hardly a destination restaurant. But for the local MoCo crowd, this place is a gem.

Note to parents who think everyone adores your spawn as much as you do: Please do not let your children run through the restaurant whilst screaming at the top of their lungs. Though the place is kid friendly, it's hardly Chuck E Cheese. Three of the little fuckers were using the main restaurant area AND the bar area as a place to play tag.

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We went to Oro Pomodoro for the first time last night.

Say "hi" next time.

It was my second visit last night and the pizza was very good. My only complaint would be that the menu described my mushroom pie as having "mixed" mushrooms, but as far as I could tell there were only white buttons on it. I enjoyed the rice balls too. And the bartender handled my male friend's embarrasing drink orders with aplomb (blue moon beer with an orange slice?!?!?! geez...).

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Service was a little hectic and occasionally a bit confused, but nothing serious and that will likely smooth out in coming weeks.

Pizza Neopolitan style is the feature; according to Savino, that means a relatively soft crust rather than the crisp crust typical from Rome north. A wide variety of toppings, with prices from $9.95 to $15.95 for a 12-inch pie (the only size).

Went tonight and it was kids family night at Rockville Square. Service was fine, efficient and adequate.

Pizza was a little too soft and chewy, maybe a few more minutes in the oven would have helped crisp it up. - Flavor ok - Prefer Mia in Bethesda or Two Amy's.

Fried rice balls were crispy without being greasy. A light hand with the seasoning made it imperative to use the dipping sauces.
Definitly thought flavor bland - Even my daughter asked me for salt.

Overall opinion not bad but not on my must return list.

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We went last Thursday and had a very good meal. Our pizzas were done perfectly with a reasonable amount of char, and we thought that the crust was much more flavorful than Mia's, but less than 2 Amy's. We had the arancini with truffle essence, or something like that. Not bad, but we couldn't really detect much of the truffle flavor, especially when dipped in the sauces.

Along with Bobby's Crabcakes, there are now two places in this development that we'll gladly return to.

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Just came back from having lunch here. My coworker's pizza with mozz/arugula/prosciutto/shaved parmesan was excellent. My Diavola (mozz/spicy salami) was a watery soup and the salami wasn't all that spicy. A definite letdown compared to my friend's pie. Ugh. Worst $20 lunch ever.

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My wife and I went for our first time last night. We'll be returning when we're on that side of the county!

She had pizza parmiagana (mozzerella, eggplant, tomato, basi and parmiagano). She had sausage as an extra topping but she said it didn't add much flavor. The eggplant was the star! It's the season.

I had something from the mozzerella bar, the mozzerella with avocado and grape tomatoes (excellent!) and a half order of panzotti (pasta stuffed with goat cheese, flavored with roasted peppers-cream sauce and pine nuts). After she tried it my wife said she should have ordered roasted peppers as an extra on her pizza. Wow, were they sweet! The portions are large here, as mentioned before.

I am tempted to go at lunch time one of these days to try their panini. If the bread they use for the panini is as good as the breadsticks they serve with their entrees it will be a winner. I bet the appetizers baked in a casserole are good too. Big menu.

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Was going to have a relaxing night home tonight but after checking out this thread I stopped by Oro Pomodoro to sample me some pizza.

I ate at the bar & chatted up the pleasant staff manning the bar area. I tried the Carrettiera [smoked mozz, sausage, & rapini]. I experienced good, soft & flavorful crust as others stated above [decent amount of char, I would have preferred a little more] and there wasn't much flavor in the sausage as I hoped, but nice pie overall.

I bypassed Appetizers this time to experience something on the Dessert menu, the Fantasia di Limone [layered sponge cake w/ lemon cream & lemon glaze, topped w/ sliced strawberries flavored w/ limoncello]. Too sweet for me, had hoped for a faint amount of tart/bite of some kind. Didn't work for me. Presentation was decent enough.

I'll be definitely back for another pie [perhaps Appetizers, else try another dessert]. Maybe a lunchtime order of Pasta sometime soon as well.

Don't know if I'll head out to Rockville just for this regularly, when I can get to Mia's quicker in Bethesda. But nice to know it's there if I'm around the area [& want something else than Crab Cakes from Bobby's].

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My wife and I went to Oro Pomodoro a couple of days ago. It wasn't bad, but nothing special. She started with the insalata mista and it was good, the dressing was served on the side (at her request) so it wasn't overdressed as many are. I started with the mozzarella and prosciutto since they make their own mozzarella. While the serving was large, it was served too cold. It was obvious that it had been prepared beforehand and kept in the chiller. That was unfortunate because the flavor was much too muted. Both mozzarella and prosciutto should be served at room temperature for the best showing.

We both had pizza (they are aboaut 10 inches) and like others have said, the crust is very good. Thin without being too crispy or soggy. My wife had the "Squisita" Genovese, white pizza with artichokes, smoked mozzarella and basil pesto. The oil in the pesto made the plate oily, but the flavor was good and it was cooked perfectly. I had the Piaa Diavola, tomato, mozzarella and spicy salami. When the server brought it he first said it was pepperoni (something that is not on the menu) but quickly said it was spicy salami, but it could have been pepperoni for all one could tell. Not much of it either with a couple of leaves of basil. However, I did enjoy it.

When we arrived we were given a "wine list." Now I don't expect much from a wine list in Montgomery County, and this had at least 30 choices with several relatively expensive Amarones and some Montepulcianos, but there were no years listed. When I asked the server if she knew what year some of the wines were she had to go ask the bartender (always a bad sign when the bartender, not the manager is the one who is familiar with the wines) and it turned out that 5 of the 6 wines I asked about were not even available. I ended up having a forgettable if fairly inexpensive (for MoCo) 2003 Bosco Montepulciano Reserva that went well with the pizza. Service was good, but I had to point out to the server that she had forgotten to charge me for the wine. It turned out that the computer did not have the wine prices programed in so it didn't add in a charge for them. I could have just paid what I was originally charged, but I didn't want the server to end up having to pay for it.

Bottom line, not bad, a good addition to the Rockville Town Square area, but nothing that I'd go out of my way for. The place was fairly noisy but not overly so. One odd thing, there were some big screen TVs there tuned to the Food Network (with the sound turned off.) Personally, I consider that a bad sign in a restaurant that wants to be considered even a little upscale. It wasn't cheap, the salad was $7.95, the appetizer $8.95 and the pizzas $12.95 and $14.95 respectively.

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We were very, very pleasantly surprised by our pizzas last night at Oro Pomodoro. We've probably been there about six times now, and while the pizzas were generally okay, they were never anything that we raved about. Unlike some of the great pizzas I've had at Two Amys, for instance, I've always walked away from Oro with an 'eh' feeling about the crust, the cheese, and the total level of flavor. But last night, we had two pizzas that rivaled what I've had at Two Amys. My Pachino pie was superbly cooked, and had a crisp exterior on the crust that gave way to a flavorful and perfect interior. The toppings were spot-on as well. My partner's gorgonzola pizza was similarly prepared, perfectly fired, and very impressive.

The first few times I went to Two Amys, I wanted to go back the next day, and the next. I never had that experience with Oro Pomodoro before, and I don't know if something has changed in the kitchen, or if we just happened to hit them at the right time, but I can't wait to go back and investigate further.

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We were very, very pleasantly surprised by our pizzas last night at Oro Pomodoro. We've probably been there about six times now, and while the pizzas were generally okay, they were never anything that we raved about. Unlike some of the great pizzas I've had at Two Amys, for instance, I've always walked away from Oro with an 'eh' feeling about the crust, the cheese, and the total level of flavor. But last night, we had two pizzas that rivaled what I've had at Two Amys. My Pachino pie was superbly cooked, and had a crisp exterior on the crust that gave way to a flavorful and perfect interior. The toppings were spot-on as well. My partner's gorgonzola pizza was similarly prepared, perfectly fired, and very impressive.

The first few times I went to Two Amys, I wanted to go back the next day, and the next. I never had that experience with Oro Pomodoro before, and I don't know if something has changed in the kitchen, or if we just happened to hit them at the right time, but I can't wait to go back and investigate further.

Please do, and let us know if you get a repeat performance. I've shied away fro Oro Pomodoro because I can get "eh" pizza in Germantown, so why drive to Rockville? But if it comes close to 2Amy's, it's worth the drive down 355!

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It's not too bad, actually. The pizza, at least. Some elements are pretty good, while others could use work. I tried the Pachino, their analog to 2Amy's margherita extra, and while their buffalo mozzarella was a bit on the rubbery side, the sauce was pleasant enough and the basil was quite snappy...I just wish there had been more than four small leaves of it. For subscribers to the crust-is-king ideal, this one actually has a really nice flavor and chew. Hole structure could be better in the cornicione, and the total amount of dough seems a bit on the heavy side, but again, I liked the flavor. FWIW, the pizza arrives precut into slices, and the regular place setting includes only a dinner knife. Whether you order a pizza or not, you'll get to taste their dough recipe, as the bread basket amounts to a baked plain crust cut into strips.

Pasta items are available in half-portions for half-price plus one dollar, so I had to try the sacchetti ai quattro formaggi, an item I haven't seen elsewhere. It could have been quite interesting - little beggars purses of pasta filled with a cheese mixture - but as executed, wasn't anything to come back for. The fresh pasta, difficult to achieve al dente with, ended up overcooked in all but one of the pouches, and in any case the cheese inside failed to make any kind of memorable statement. The shaved provolone picante on top was pretty much lost as well. I dunno. It could have used salt. I wonder if it would have been better with a shaved pecorino instead.

It's not inexpensive - $14 for the Pachino - but given that the next closest credible Neapolitan pizza is about a half-hour away, I imagine it does well with well-heeled families in the area who want to feed their kids a more serious kind of pizza.

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We went yesterday and the pizza was very good. So far, we have favored Comet due to proximity to our house but this could be worth the drive.

We had a salumi platter that was meh but worth the $14 for volume.

The dessert (Concerto of tiramisu or something like that) was meh. My wife (who loves tiramisu) liked but I did not like the strawberry and lemon bastardizations.

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this place has completely fallen off my radar. sounds like it may be worth another shot? I'm often looking for decent food at Rockville Town Center.

If you're in the hood and you're craving pizza, then yes. I'll add that their pizza is slight larger than Pupatella's and slightly cheaper than Pupatella's ($11 vs. $12), but slightly less good than Pupatella's.

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If you want pizza and Italian at Rockville Town Center, it's a worthwhile stop. I'll go there sometimes before catching a movie at the Regal.

Pizza is better at Pizza CS a mile down the pike, and pastas are better at Amici Miei on Seven Locks, but the food and service are good at Oro, and sometimes convenience wins (and it's not THAT much of a compromise).

Plenty of reasonable choices in the RTC - Carbon, La Canela, Lebanese Taverna, Pho & Rolls, Spice Xing, Taste of Saigon. Sichuan Jin River right across the street behind the center, and Giuseppi's next to the Regal are also a block away.

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Not sure if he's still involved, but Recine also opened Oro Pomodoro in Rockville in 2008.

Wow, I may have known this at one time, but I'm shocked by your post. Not that it's good or bad; I guess I just completely forgot, and I don't slip up on stuff like this. *Geez*!

It's very clear from the posts here, and from Google, that Recine was an owner, but I can't find anything at all post-2009 about him being affiliated with Oro Pomodoro. Does anyone know?

This is just an unsupported hypothesis, but there's a lot less talk and buzz about Oro Pomodoro in recent years, and I wonder if a Recine departure (if indeed it occurred) had anything to do with this.

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I had several conversations with him in the first few months that it opened, but can't say I've seen him at the place in years.

However, while this is not a destination restaurant, it's a very good neighborhood restaurant, and I can't say I've noticed one whit of slippage in quality or service since they opened. It's still in my semi-regular rotation, and I'd still highly recommend it to anyone looking for Italian in that neighborhood.

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That sucks. Because I'm sure the rent for that location is high enough that it's going to be replaced by a chain.

I sadly agree. We had some really nice pizzas at Oro Pomodoro, and despite occasional bumps (a broken pizza oven, sometimes odd service) thought that it could be worthwhile and enjoyable. But it's a big space, right on the square, and I have to imagine that it won't be cheap.

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