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.
To create that crust, we start with a wood-burning, domed, stone oven able to cook at a temperature of 650 degrees and above. Then we placed the oven at the heart of the restaurant so our guests would feel the warmth and comfort of its glow evocative of the warmth felt in a close friend’s home.
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 expanded in 2009, and is now located at 2003 P Street. A second location, in historic Georgetown, opened at 3282 M Street in December 2002. Our third restaurant, located at 124 King St in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, opened in October 2010.
Pizzeria Paradiso provides table service to 100 customers in Dupont Circle including a 20 seat outdoor patio, 140 customers in Georgetown and 120 customers in Old Town. The menu is supplemented by an extensive beer list at all three locations, with an ever-changing draft beer selection and wine list. Our Georgetown location has a private dining room for special events. Our Old Town location can accommodate special functions based upon availability.
All locations are open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, with continuous service through the afternoon and late-night dining hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Our pizzas and appetizers are available for carryout from all locations.
We opened Birreria Paradiso as a response to our customers’ growing interest in microbrews and handcrafted beers. By offering a wide variety of the world’s finest beers, to be paired with Pizzeria Paradiso’s renowned Neopolitan style pizza, Birreria Paradiso elevates the classic pizza and beer combination to a level not previously found in the metro-DC area.
Each Birreria Paradiso location offers a beer list of 200 bottled beers and a traditional British-style cask ale, all presented at the correct temperatures and in appropriate glassware. Birreria Paradiso Dupont Circle includes 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 Paradiso, housed in the lower level of Pizzeria Paradiso Georgetown, accommodates 14 people seated at the bar, with high-top and table seating for about 30. A second Birreria Paradiso at our Dupont Circle location seats 14 bar patrons and provides additional standing room, and our third Birreria Paradiso in our Old Town Alexandria restaurant offers bar, communal table, and high-top seating totaling 35 seats. All three locations offer Happy Hour pricing on specific days of the week from 5pm to 7pm.
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 six popular Washington restaurants. Ms. Gresser is the author of Kitchen Workshop – Pizza: Hands-On Cooking Lessons for Making Amazing Pizza at Home as well as starring in a How to Make Pizza series of videos.
Ms. Gresser is the President of the Board of Directors of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, the foremost organization for women in food founded by industry leaders such as Lydia Bastianich, Mary Sue Milliken, Barbara Lazaroff and Barbara Tropp. Gresser is also a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, has been profiled in The Washington Post Magazine and The Washington Business Journal, and has appeared on numerous local TV and radio stations, and industry panels.