Veloce by Pizzeria Paridiso Opens Today
Veloce, a quick service pizza parlor from the owner of Pizzeria Paradiso, will open for business at 7 a.m. today, Monday May 4, at 1828 L St. NW in the Farragut Square area. The first 100 guests starting at 11:30 a.m. today will get a free pizza.
The new eatery features breakfast, lunch and dinner focusing on personal-sized pizzas, sandwiches and salads with Compass Coffee and desserts.
Only open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and with no tables, only three counters that seat 18 inside and a patio that seats 16, Veloce is definitely targeted more toward people working in the area on their lunch break rather than families or couples out on the town.
Owner and chef Ruth Gresser’s new restaurant features the same brick oven-fired pizzas found at Pizzeria Paradiso, but smaller and available in minutes. Gresser worked with Marra Forni, a local Beltsville, Md. oven maker, to design a custom Neapolitan-style gas brick oven that can accommodate up to 25 pizzas at a time and mimic the results of Pizzeria Paradiso’s wood-burning ovens in less time. Veloce’s pizza cook in about 4 minutes compared to 7 minutes at Pizzeria Paradiso.
In the morning, 5-inch breakfast pizzas, calzones and pockets are $5. They include The Pig with scrambled eggs, Applewood smoked bacon, roasted mushrooms, red onions and Italian cheeses; The Garden with scrambled eggs, cheddar, sweet red peppers, spinach and red onions; and The Flag with scrambled eggs, mozzarella, basil, Italian cheeses and roasted cherry tomatoes. The standard calzone includes scrambled eggs, organic tomato sauce, roasted fingerling potatoes, parsley, choice of pork, lamb or chicken sausage and Italian cheeses or The Harvest on whole wheat crust with scrambled eggs, spinach, spicy garlic pesto, roasted mushrooms, red onions and roasted cherry tomatoes. Pockets – a sandwich made with pizza crust for bread – include The Sammy with smoked salmon, herbed mascarpone, capers, red onions and fresh cherry tomatoes.
Lunch and dinner diners can create custom 8-inch personal pizzas for $9 on white, whole wheat, gluten-free or a new mixed grains and seeds crust, four sauces, 10 cheeses, 10 proteins, 11 kinds of vegetables and nine accents. Or, choose from a menu of house pizzas designed by Gresser. Those include The Butcher with organic tomato sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, house-made pork sausage, red onions and sweet red peppers; The Smokehouse with sauce, smoked mozzarella, Applewood smoked bacon, kale and red onions; and The Rooster with basil pesto, goat cheese, sweet red peppers, house-made chicken sausage and pine nuts. Vegetarian pizzas include The Veloce with sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, ricotta and basil; The Farmer with spicy garlic pesto, roasted vegetables, pine nuts, mozzarella, parmesan and an egg; and the The Cheesemonger with herbed mascarpone, red onions, pecorino, fontina, parmesan, garlic, oregano and parsley.
If you’re really in a hurry, there is a grab-and-go case next to the registers. Prepackaged salads that include The Veloce with arugula, kalamata olives, cherry tomatoes, red onions and balsamic vinaigrette; The Spinach with spinach, sweet red peppers, mushrooms, goat cheese, pine nuts, red onions and citrus vinaigrette salad; The Artichoke with escarole, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, Italian cheeses and balsamic dressing; and a seasonal salad, which will start with arugula, farro, roasted asparagus, sweet red peppers, spring onions, oregano and creamy garlic dressing. Grab-and-go pockets for $9 include smoked salmon in white pizza dough pocket with herbed mascarpone, escarole, fresh cherry tomatoes, capers and red onion; a BLT in a white pizza dough pocket with basil pesto, arugula, creamy garlic dressing, roasted cherry tomatoes and Applewood-smoked bacon; a roast vegetable in a white pizza dough pocket with spicy garlic pesto, spinach and roasted vegetable salad; and the spicy deli pocket on white pizza dough with spicy garlic pesto, salami, prosciutto, mozzarella, fontina, escarole, hot cherry peppers, kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette.
Desserts, all priced at $5, include house-made classic, lemon or chocolate tiramisu, Carla Hall cookies and nuts, and PollyStyle oatmeal cookies, chocolate graham crackers and ginger shortbread.
Eric Gronning of Gronning Architects designed the 1,400 square-foot space, which features bold yellow accents and geometric patterns.