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Pizzeria Paradiso - Georgetown
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Taps: 16 / Bottles: 200
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
3282 M St NW
District of Columbia
phone: (202) 337-1245
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vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
SAVOR in six hours and counting, we've already checked out of hotel A and checked into hotel B. Phil's going to hit some of the salon sessions and I'm going to head over to my adopted parent's place off Lincoln park, maybe grab a beer with Schnickel Fritz Mike & Dicke Frau Davida, but first we're going to get our lunch on. I remember remembering Paradiso from last year's post event wanderings; you'd never know there was a serious beer scene hiding there. An unassuming pizza place on the strip maybe, but walk to the rear, and down the rabbit hole...
Seemingly, a pizza shop like other pizza shops; about 2 dozen tables seating through 2 rooms and a small bar with 4 taps just inside the door. But spy the secret staircase down to the basement bar, well played. Small tight room and a half with a 13 stool "L" shaped stone based copper topped bar under the stairs. 2 coolers of bottles behind the bar over a brick wall, glassware on the counter there and more cooler space below. Some portions of the barback plastered with stickers, labels and light signage. Yellow painted walls throughout mostly, with bits of brick over stone block. Tile floors, slat wood ceiling over the bar with sunken spots, and the adjacent seating area, wood rafters overhead with tap handles sticking out of them and mounted Bali mason jaresque lamps. The walls done with a few De Dolle posters framed, light brewery prints & mirrors, and a length of the crown molding holding a dozen tap handles extending out, plus a few black & white vat photos and a great framed DC newspaper weekend section piece showing bar manager Greg's face over the tap handles. A dozen + tables, mostly 2 seaters, a single hightop, and a pair of cushy chairs around a coffee table up front a small fireplace, cherubs to both sides and pizza pieces on the mantle above. A funny cart of sorts sits in the middle of the room housing stacked wood, seemingly dangerous there.
They sent us a little bowl of mixed olives for starters and I was going to try one for the second time in my life. I asked Phil which one I should have and he could/would offer no help opinion anything whatsoever, so I didn't try an olive for the second time in my life. See how he keeps me down. Looking over the menu of salads (no), Panini (maybe) and pizza (yes), I opted to make my own pie but not really. What I did was to come up with the specific toppings and then told the guy and he had someone else make it for me but the artistic expression of garlic, pine nuts and pepperoni was my own, and could I have that very well done, please, thank you. The pizza was excellent, great dough, fresh ingredients, and I'm glad I only ordered the 8" as it was more than enough.
16 taps in all; 12 on the tower on the bar here and the other 4 are served from upstairs. A good mix of a handful of Belgians (De Dolle Dulle Teve, Saison Dupont, Witkap Double), and micros across the mid-Atlantic & New England regions (Duck Rabbit Porter, Clipper City Loose Cannon IPA, DogFishHead Burton Baton, Stoudts APA, Southampton Double White, Brooklyn Intensified Coffee Stout, Ommegang Rouge, Allagash Confluence), and not (New Holland Full Circle Kolsch, Great Divide Belgica, Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale, Avery Ellie's Brown, Stone Levitation), and a single cask beer on (Flying Dog Dry Hopped Gonzo). Yes, I'm drinking the Allagash Confluence laughingly (which by the way, does not suck), and a second beer now, it's going to be the Omme Rouge, because because.
And then there's that bottle list, broken out by style holding just shy of 200 bottles, more than ½ of them Belgian and Belgian style. They've got all the goods. I mean, a nice 'lil collection of lambics, fruit & gueuzes geeses; nearly a dozen and a half of them (Fonteinen, Cantillon, Hanssens, Oud Beersel, St Louis, and Lindemans Cuvee Renee). A very serious beer list. Now, I've read where some people have been complaining about the prices here, but in my only opinion that matters, most things are reasonably priced. From the $35 Cantillon St. Lamvinus to the $9 lovely Orval, right where she should be.
Greg just came by and spotted me scribblin' my little serial killer print, subtle I'm not. Guessed we were in town for SAVOR, and got talking a bit. He's good shit and knows his game, he left and returned with a Mikkeller Nelson Sauvin Single Hop IPA in hand. Nice! You know, we should talk to someone about keeping him on full time. Then he busted out an Orval to split just as we were looking to go; don't wanna be disrespectful and whatnot (to him or lovely Orval), so we stayed.
A better than good beer scene, and really damn kickin' pizza. Go see when in DC.
07-15-2009 02:57:24 |
More by slander
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
One of the highlights of my recent trip to DC was Birreria Paradiso. It was an unexpected charm, as it appeared from the street as simply a tiny bar tucked inside a family style pizza restaurant. Once inside and directed downstairs to the main bar, I was impressed. Honest to goodness British cask-ale greeted me, and made for a delicious first pint. The bartender knew his beers, and was instructing and giving samples to some of the lesser educated patrons (kudos to that!). The pizza was delicious, the service was great, and the atmosphere was very comfortable and friendly! It is a small bar in Georgetown, however, and upon returning after a few hours it was hard to find a seat and my date and I had to wait. Fortunately we were still able to get a beer and stand near the bar.
I'd highly recommend it as a stop in Georgetown, and to be honest, it had one of the best beers selections in all of DC (with the Brickskellar and RFD obviously taking the leading spots). Additionally, although it is DC, and in Georgetown, I thought that the prices were quite fair in comparison to other "lesser" bars and restaurants that I encountered. Worth a stop!
12-19-2007 22:52:58 |
More by NeroFiddled
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
I tried to get into Paradiso Dupont Circle once and it was mobbed. Fast-forward one year and I'm walking around Georgetown with my beautiful friend from Spain on a beautiful, sunny day. I remember the wife had stopped at Paradiso Georgetown, so I ask her for directions and there I go!
Place is clean, cozy, airy. But also a bit sterile and chain-y. Great for a quiet lunch, despite being busy. Alright service, a bit erratic and disorganized (maybe understaffed?) but fine.
I sat at the bar on the main floor, but there is another bar downstairs where I was told all the good taps are.
Great bottle list divided in styles, with a heckuva lot of sours, wild ales and lambics. A good amount of taps too, sixteen plus a cask, but no variety. Mostly IPA's. Maharaja, Mikkeller Single Hop (had the Palisade and loved it), Speakeasy Double Daddy, Lagunitas Lucky 13, Victory Hop Wallop, Illimites Simple Malt IPA from Quebec...
They serve flights ($9-$11) and I like that. Got one. Their pizza is good but not great. Not like Piece in Chicago. Didn't wow me, crust was a little too thick but ingredients were fresh and nice. My half-Italian friend said it was delicious. Pricey at $11.75 for a mini one-person pie.
I liked it OK here but wouldn't be in a hurry to come back. When in DC, there are other spots I like better.
10-05-2011 17:49:23 |
More by DoubleSimcoe
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
The first (sweltering) week of August 2007, I was in downtown DC on business and had the pleasure of visiting beer bars Birreria Paradiso and The Brickskeller and brewpubs Capitol City Brewing, Gordon Biersch, and District ChopHouse & Brewery. These are listed in order of my ranking for each category. All three of the brewpubs were a tick above average and about the same in terms of quality.
As a point of reference, Ive been to ~ 200 North American brewpubs (where they brew on site), I homebrew, and probably drink *too much* non-macro beer. Im also a food snob and scout out the best local dining unless it makes sense to eat at the beer establishment.
I visited the downstairs bar which was located in a low ceiling room and I was happy smoking is not allowed in DC. The beer selection is very good, the bartender maintained a good knowledge of the beers, and while I did not eat, the food looked very good. You can take the DC Circulator bus (I think the yellow line to Georgetown) and it will drop you off on M street a block or two from BP. Georgetown is a very nice area and you could easily take your spouse shopping and visit BP for pizza and maybe a beer or two.
My only complaint was the atmosphere was a bit dull. I was in around 6-7 pm on a Tuesday. The could use some music in the downstairs bar to liven it up a bit. No TV's so I kept occupied reading the beer list and staring the bottle collection.
08-06-2007 22:11:10 |
More by Yetiman420
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
visited this joint on night #1 of a 4 day bender in DC. stopped in around 6pm with BLACKIE and probably stayed till about 9, splitting time between the downstairs bar and upstairs eatery
place was rather dead at 6pm but became increasingly crowded within an hour.
there were probably 20 taps but they seemed a bit underwhelming. i went with a sierra nevada brown saison and later a rogue brutal bitter. there really were very limited local options. They did have the duck rabbit imperial stout but i never really had the urge to drink that great beer. for whatever reason there was about 5 or 6 rogue taps, though none of them rated very high.
the bottle list is pretty great but the prices are outrageous. $20 for a victory wild devil is absurd. we did pay $25 for a bruery saison rue -also outrageous but an awesome beer
the downstairs area is pretty dark and houses most of the beer - it fills up rather quickly. upstairs is a big sunny room with a larger capacity
food situation is pretty strong. the pizza de mare (mussels and whatnot) was a little underwhelming but the potato pesto pie was great
downstairs bartender was definitely a craft beer enthusiast
06-20-2009 15:47:11 |
More by dirtylou
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Hit the Paradiso last weekend with Alewife on the recommendation of old bro Artied2... Strolled down M St from the Foggy Bottom Metro stop... nice walk, save for the 90F temps. Found Paradiso w/out probs.... Upon entering you hit the host/hostess station. Immediately behind it is the bar, L-shaped and stretching back about 20' to the rear. A large display of bier bottles was visible on the back wall. There were a half-dozen small tables to the left of the bar, followed by a wall with doorway and open "windows" leading to a second, larger dining room, where we ate. This room had another ten or so tables, accomodating 2, 4 or 6 people. To the rear of both rooms was a small counter for seating, which faced the open kitchen. Workers styling pizza pies were visible to all. The entire place was bright and airy, with pastel colors all over, and artwork of various subjects (landscapes, animals) and styles adorning the walls. Light music was playing in the background, though mostly drowned out by the noise of diners and waitstaff.
Paradiso had about 12 drafts on, from witbier to barleywine to IPA. Dozens and dozens of bottles were also available, with a strong lean towards Belgians. Nice list, yes. Alewife had a Southampton Double Wit, me a Dogfish 60 Minute. Hit the spot, it did! Our server was very friendly, helpful and attentive. Tried his best to help with our bier selections, though he admitted he was still learning his way through the list. Their food menu is mostly pizza, panini and salad. We split a Quattro Formaggi pizza, which was quite tasty. The cheeses were sharp and biting, and the crust was very pliable and pleasantly chewable, especially when dipped in some fresh olive oil. Prices were a bit higher than I'd like, but the area dictates digging deeper into the wallet, ahh reckon.
Artied2 had mentioned a downstairs bar area, but we never got ther chance to check it out. All in all, a very comfortable and pleasing dining/drinking experience.
atmosphere: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
05-30-2007 16:18:30 |
More by Bierman9
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5 | $$$
If we lived in Georgetown, or anywhere close, this would be our second home. What a great bar!
The sign outside says Pizzeria Paradiso. Upstairs is a pizzeria, which was bright, clean and crowded. Birreria Paradiso is the name for the downstairs bar. You can get the same food and drink on either floor.
The bar has a great vibe with an especially friendly staff. About 10 stools at an L-shaped bar with a bunch of tables for dining.
Selection is very good with about 10 taps, all quality. Bottle list was about 100, with a great selection of Belgian and American beers. 3 Floyds Rabbid Rabbit on tap, 3 Floyds Behemoth in the bottle. Are you kidding me? Turns out the bar manager drives out to Munster a couple of times a year and brings back a bunch of stuff. He also stops in Wisconsin for some New Glarus (Spotted Cow was avaiable on our visit). All he has to do is pick up some Tyranena beers while he is in WI and he'll have all the great undistributed beers of the Midwest under one roof.
All of the staff was very friendly and enthusiastic about beer. We felt at home from the start. Later on we had a great, long beer conversation with Greg (bar manager) and Drew (one of the servers). Nice guys who know their stuff. Greg even dug up an '05 bottle of Avery the Czar which was delicious.
Only knock was that the food was just ok. But everything else about this place was first rate. Go there.
08-12-2008 20:43:08 |
More by sholland119
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | $$
visited on a rainy October Saturday, early evening, after a frustrating bout with directions, traffic, and parking
atmosphere: entry is through the upstairs restaurant (the Pizzeria), on the left side in the back is a set of stairs leading to the downstairs bar (the Bierria), wonderfully warm down here after a walk in the cold rain, only a few folks seated at the bar, all the 10 or so tables were open though they filled over the course of my stay, as well as a couple pleather chairs by the gas fireplace where we chose to make our spot, cozy and relaxed like some sort of bar/basement/living room
quality: the cask ale was served in a standard pint at proper temperature, my imperial stout was served way too cold but at least it was in a snifter (and full)
service: complimentary olives were almost immediately placed on the table (used to hate them, but after some determined experimentation I'm kinda fond of the green ones), we had two servers over the course of a 2 hour stay, one was quite good and friendly, the other cold and dull but still quick with the service, I'll average this out to "good" for now but expect it to grow in the future
selection: phenominal selection, by leaps and bounds the best I've seen in the Metro area, 17 taps on the day of my initial visit with a bottle list stylized and spread over 10 or so pages (about half Belgian) and a full page devoted to seasonals, check the website for currents, big props for the Bell's Amber on cask (had one, good stuff), what the hell is Three Floyds Behemoth Blonde doing here?, was interested in the Cape Ann Pumpkin Stout and Avery Kaiser but the Bell's Expedition was too fitting by the fire on this cold and wet day, enough here to satisfy anybody in any mood
food: I can hardly give the place a food score based only on this, but the Antipasto appetizer of cured meats and cheese over Italian bread was a great pre-dinner snack
10-29-2008 02:08:52 |
More by blackie
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$$
Birreria Paradiso was without doubt the beer bar highlight of a recent four day trip to Washington DC. We dropped by here on Wednesday afternoon after walking around Georgetown and taking in the abundance of sites in this historic city. This place is located in a really cool area with no shortage of good bars and restaurants.
We arrived in between lunch and dinner times, so the place was fairly empty with some customers coming and going. More of a restaurant than a bar from what I noticed, but I guess there is a downstairs with a fireplace. That area didn't open until 5 PM, so I didn't have the chance to check it out.
This place has the right idea, combing a fairly simple menu offering high quality foods with an excellent beer menu to match. I counted 16 taps with highlights such as Troegs Nugget Nectar, Weyerbacher Insanity, DFH World Wide Stout and a rare, yet appropriate offering for the area - Uncle Teddy's Bitter from Victory. They also offer a cask selection and during my visit it was Great Divide's Yeti Imperial Stout. Talk about a serious selection of craft beers!
Prices range from about $6 to $12 for the DFH WWS. The bottle selection is very extensive and quite impressive. I ordered a bottle of Bell's Hopslam Ale that was great, but the true highlight of my experience here was when I tried to order a bottle of Three Floyds Alpha King, but was I told that they were all out, but did have Three Floyds Gumballhead. The Gumballhead was friggin' delicious and I was so pleased to have the chance to try offerings from beers that I am unable to find in Massachusetts.
As far as the food options go, the menu is simple with an emphasis on their pizza, but they also have paninis and salads. The pizza comes in either 8 inch or 12 inch sizes. We kept things basic and went with the Margherita that was tasty. I love the freshness of the ingredients here. I definitely have to recommend this place; I really enjoyed my visit here and will make an effort to return next time in DC.
03-21-2009 17:43:05 |
More by Hibernator
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Like much of Georgetown, especially the western side of it, It can be a bit of a trick to get here. It's a decent walk from the Foggy Bottom or Dupont Metros... not bad, but not too fun if it's the dead of summer. Look into taking a cab or bus, or just go on a pleasant evening and the walk is quite enjoyable.
The atmosphere is pretty straight-forward, but nice. You'll probably want to head down the stairs to the basement bar area for some beer action. The seletion is quite good, with about 12 on tap (with not one macro on tap), a rotating cask, and lots of bottles. They tend to use proper glassware for everything. Service is very good and usually quick even if they're busy. I heard someone ask what a beer was like, and rather than the typical "oh, it's a lighter beer," the bartender actually talked for a bit about the yeasty and orange rind properties of the beer.
The food is great, here and the Dupont location as well as Matchbox in Chinatown could fight it out for best pizza in the District.
The prices can add up if you get several beers, but it's reasonable, especially for Georgetown.
06-02-2007 21:56:12 |
More by shivtim
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Pizzeria Paradiso - Georgetown in Washington, DC