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 grew up cooking with her mother, who owned a catering business in Baltimore, Maryland. Ruth cooked her way through Grinnell College in Iowa before moving to San Francisco, where she cooked for several years at Friends a Café and at Le Trou Robert.
In 1987, she graduated summa cum laude from Madeleine Kamman’s Classical and Modern French Cooking School in Glen, New Hampshire. Ruth then moved to Washington, DC, where she has helped open five popular restaurants: Pizzeria Paradiso Dupont Circle, Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown, Pizzeria Paradiso Old Town, Blue Plate and Obelisk.
Ruth has been the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions, including receiving a Women’s Chefs and Restaurateurs Madeleine Kamman Scholarship and participation in an economic discussion group with President Barack Obama. She has been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine and The Washington Business Journal. She has been a chef demonstrator, contributor and panelist for The Smithsonian Institution and for FreshFarm Markets here in Washington. Ruth is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and is on the Board of Directors for Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.
- 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