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Roscoe's Pizzeria (Formerly Roscoe's), Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park


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At a very well attended community forum this evening, after a discussion about Chef G and Robins new Avenue Oven, Murat Uzuntepe and Cenk Duzturk presented their plans for Roscoe's.

First of all, the name was an immediate hit with the locals, and actually showed some knowledge of the community. Roscoe was a free range rooster who lived in downtown Takoma Park for many years. After his death, the community commissioned a bronze sculpture which is on display in the farmer's market area.

Anyway, the idea is what they describe as "gourmet pizza", and they specifically mentioned Two Amys and Pizza Paradiso.

They are going for a full liquor license and will also have patio space, both of which drew applause from the audience. 96 seats. Besides pizza, the expect to serve appetizers "with lots of olive oil" and goodies from based on their native Turkey. Takeout, of course, and no delivery.

They have not run a restaurant in the US before, though Murat said he was manager of an Italian restaurant in England once. I think this is a great idea and could do very well, but I was surprised that they were unaware of the local competition (Moroni & Bros), and hope they can maintain a high standard of management.

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Roscoe's is now open at 7040 Carroll Ave in Takoma Park. I manage House of Musical Traditions which had been located there since 1972 (we moved a block away to 7010 Westmoreland Ave last June). I've been waiting with anticipation for it to open--not only to see what they did with the space, but to have another place to go for lunch!

I was not disappointed in either respect. The transformation of the space is pretty amazing, and the brick-oven pizza was great. They're still working out some opening kinks and liquor license is still to come, but there's a lot of potential here. The owner said their website should be up sometime this week, and they're getting their hours hashed out. Plans for live music are also in the works.

There's pictures and a little review on the HMT blog.

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Roscoe's is now open at 7040 Carroll Ave in Takoma Park. I manage House of Musical Traditions which had been located there since 1972 (we moved a block away to 7010 Westmoreland Ave last June). I've been waiting with anticipation for it to open--not only to see what they did with the space, but to have another place to go for lunch!

I was not disappointed in either respect. The transformation of the space is pretty amazing, and the brick-oven pizza was great. They're still working out some opening kinks and liquor license is still to come, but there's a lot of potential here. The owner said their website should be up sometime this week, and they're getting their hours hashed out. Plans for live music are also in the works.

There's pictures and a little review on the HMT blog.

I walked into Roscoe's yesterday, and thought the pizzas looked like honest attempts at a quality product, though my visual impression is that there's room for improvement. At 7 PM, the place was crowded, and people were waiting outside for a table (the bar was full too). A lot of boutique shops which have been open for years are closing in Takoma Park, so it's nice to see an independent operation such as Roscoe's attracting interest. Without having tried any of the food, my initial impression is that the restaurant looks a bit sterile for a neighborhood gathering spot (which it is surely to be).

Cheers,
Rocks.

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I walked into Roscoe's yesterday, and thought the pizzas looked like honest attempts at a quality product, though my visual impression is that there's room for improvement. At 7 PM, the place was crowded, and people were waiting outside for a table (the bar was full too). A lot of boutique shops which have been open for years are closing in Takoma Park, so it's nice to see an independent operation such as Roscoe's attracting interest. Without having tried any of the food, my initial impression is that the restaurant looks a bit sterile for a neighborhood gathering spot (which it is surely to be).

The sterile decor won't matter in the slightest. It's going to be jam-packed stroller-ama from now until it closes. I am hoping to get in tonight and check it out.

It doesn't surprise me that the bar was full - with the exception of the Olive, Takoma Park is devoid of places to have a drink. I am looking forward to having an alternative.

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Had lunch here today. My pizza margherita was good, although a little lacking in basil for my liking (there were three large leaves on there left whole; as a result, I didn't really get much basil in many bites). The crust was the nice combination of crispy and chewy that you can only get from a wood-burning oven. Overall, it was a solid pizza. I've (as much as I hate to admit it) not been to Paradiso and 2 Amys, so I can't compare it to them, but I was satisfied. I did not, however, leave thinking that the pizza was anything terribly spectacular.

What did really throw me for a loop was the special dessert that I had, which was some sort of combination of custard, bananas, caramel and lady fingers. It was pretty much a culinary car crash - I didn't want to eat it, but once I started, I really couldn't stop. It wasn't good, though. A friend told me their tiramisu was good, but since I don't like tiramisu, that would have been somewhat wasted on me.

Like I said, this place is far from perfect, and getting a liquor license will certainly help their cause - apparently their hearing is set for July 2. However, once they get some of the kinks worked out, I think this place could be pretty special.

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My husband I went to Roscoes on June 30th. Despite it being a Tuesday night the front room was full and there were plenty of the Takoma Park denizens that help to keep it an eccentric, including a guy eating solo who practiced his ukulele mid-dinner (at least it quieted the crying babies) There were definitely a lot of families eating together.

Roscoes has yet to acquire a liquor license so my husband opted to get water while I tried their lime cooler. The lime cooler was exceedingly tart but refreshing. I think Id stick to water in the future however.

Despite it being a busy place we were seated quickly and the service staff were plentiful and polite. To start we shared the arugula salad with blue cheese, walnuts, golden raisins and walnut vinaigrette. This salad was perfectly composed with bitterness of the arugula balanced by the tangy cheese and sweet raisins and delightful crunch of the walnuts. The salad was dressed flawlessly, accenting the salad without overwhelming it.

We ate the Roscoes pizza which had mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes. I thought that the crust should have been slightly crispier and the spinach was overly wilted and dry, it would have been better if they had added it after the pizza had cooked. I noticed that the tables had red pepper flakes but no parmesan cheese, which led me to vainly hope that they served the pizza with hand grated cheese. Alas, when I asked for extra cheese (the pizza tasted a little under seasoned) they came out with your usual pizza joint parmesan shaker.

For desert we had tiramisu and I have no complaints about it, not too sweet, balancing the flavors of the mascarpone, espresso and cocoa.

By sharing the salad, pizza and desert our tab was just under 30 dollars which is a pretty inexpensive night out by my standards. I think that while this restaurant has some room for improvement, its still worth a second look.

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Opera season is almost underway, which means rehearsals in the dry culinary wasteland known as Takoma Park, a place that seems to be a Woodstock run by Mormons. No more. A colleague and I had lunch at Roscoe's yesterday during our break and were thoroughly pleased in every respect. I even had a very nice glass of Pinot Grigio! We both had a special panino, with grilled chicken, garnished with tender red peppers and basil and served with a simple side salad of mesclun and other greens. Everything tasted fresh and vibrant. Most important, the panino was not overdone or gloppy, just really crisp and flavorful. We spoke with one of the owners before we left, who told us that business is difficult in the current climate and the season right now is a bit slow anyway, but that so far they have been very pleased with the turnout and the neighborhood. I am going to be a regular here for as long as rehearsals continue and cannot wait to try the pizzas. The space is really nice as well.

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The Roscoe's people are all holding their breath tonight. Sietsema's full review will be out this weekend, I suppose that means online later today, since it will be in the magazine distributed tomorrow. They have a feeling it will be pretty positive, but we shall see!

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I had dinner here the other night, and while the pizza was as poor as it has been reported to be I enjoyed the shrimp and grits special I had as an appetizer. The grits had some kind of pork product in them and I liked the shrimp flavored sauce that was on the plate. We also had a beet salad as a special, which was decent and had a two nicely cooked endives in it. If you find yourself here I would stick to appetizers.

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Pizza quality has improved here, the word is that they substantially increased the temperature of the wood-fired oven so that it is not operating at about 900 degrees instead of 700 earlier, and I think this has solved the problem of the soggy centers.

Beet salad is just excellent, indeed all of the salads are good, splitting a salad and a pizza makes a wonderful meal for two.

Kron, the excellent and very professional bartender, is less evident, more typically these days its one of the three owners or a grumpy, distracted female notable for how much she stands around doing nothing. Insider tip - the four tables parallel to the the long side of the bar are assigned to the bartender, not one of the regular servers. If the place is swamped you may need to make yourself known to whoever is behind the bar.

Overall, I find myself going here more often. The pizza is much improved, the staff generally friendly and helpful.

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