About Us / Reviews
We opened Pizzeria Paradiso so we could make the kind of pizza we longed for but couldn’t find in the DC area; the kind of pizza where the crust was the most important part.
So we started with a wood-burning, domed, stone oven able to cook at a temperature of 650 degrees. We also wanted our guests to feel like they were being treated to the warmth and comfort of a close friend’s home, so we placed the oven at the heart of the restaurant.
Next, we developed a dough that would respond to our oven the way we dreamed. We let our dough rise slowly, work it by hand, lightly grace it with the finest quality toppings, finish it with extra virgin olive oil and cook it in our beloved oven.
As Phyllis Richman wrote about us, “[m]aking great pizza isn’t all that difficult. You need good yeast dough – left to rise long enough to develop the flavor. Then a tomato sauce of quality, cheese that’s delicious and fresh herbs from the garden, honest olive oil and vibrant toppings. Plus a good hot wood-burning oven. In other words, all it takes is a commitment to quality. That’s what makes the difference at Pizzeria Paradiso.”
The original Pizzeria Paradiso, located on the second floor of a small townhouse in Dupont Circle, opened its doors in November 1991. The restaurant received immediate critical acclaim and has since been consistently ranked among the finest restaurants in Washington, DC. This location was upgraded in 2009, and is now located at 2003 P Street. A second location, in historic Georgetown, opened in December 2002. Our third restaurant, located at 124 King St in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, was opened in October, 2010.
Pizzeria Paradiso provides table service to 100 customers in Dupont Circle (80 inside, 20 outside), 140 in Georgetown and 120 in Old Town. The menu is supplemented by an extensive beer list at all three locations, with an ever-changing beer & wine list. Our Georgetown location has a private dining room for special events. Both Dupont Circle & Old Town will consider special functions based upon availability.
All locations are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, with continuous service through the afternoon and into the late-night dining hours. Our entire appetizer, pizza, soft drink and coffee menu, as well as a limited dessert selection are available for carryout from all locations.
Birreria Paradiso — a response to our customers’ growing interest in microbrews and handcrafted beers — elevates the classic pizza and beer combination to a level not previously found in the metro-DC area.
With our new venture, we offer a wide variety of the world’s finest beers, to be paired with Pizzeria Paradiso’s renowned Neopolitan style pizza. Each location offers a beer list of 200 bottled beers and a traditional British-style cask ale, all presented at the correct temperature and in the appropriate glassware. Dupont’s birreria includes a 12 draft beer selections, Georgetown serves up 16 draft beer options and Old Town offers 14 beers on tap. Birreria Paradiso will satisfy avid beer lovers and expand pizza lovers’ awareness of artisanal beers that offer the same level of refinement as the world’s best wines.
The original Birreria, housed in the lower level of Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown, accommodates 10 people seated at the bar, lounge seating for 8, and table seating for about 30. A second Birreria is at our new location in Dupont Circle and our third Birreria opened at our Old Town Alexandria restaurant in October, 2010.
Ruth Gresser, Owner and Chef
Owner and chef Ruth Gresser learned her craft at her mother’s side, cooking for her large family and her mother’s catering company. Ms. Gresser cooked her way through college before entering the professional food scene in San Francisco at the early stages of the modern American food movement. In 1987, after graduating summa cum laude from Madeleine Kamman’s Classical and Modern French Cooking School, and cooking professionally in French, American, and Italian restaurants across the country, she moved to Washington, DC.
In 1991, she turned her attention to pizza, opening Pizzeria Paradiso to critical acclaim. Now considered the matriarch of pizza in the District, Ms. Gresser has been instrumental in the opening of five popular Washington restaurants. Ms. Gresser is also the author of “Kitchen Workshop – Pizza” to be released in February 2014.
Gresser sits on the Board of Directors of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and has been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine and The Washington Business Journal. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her partner of 21 years.
- Ruth Gresser Takes a Stand to End Domestic Violence
- Instructional Video by Ruth Gresser: How To Make Pizza
- Interview with Ruth Gresser for Best of the City on Comcast