French Non-Resistance: Petits Plats goes Italian with Pizze.
It’s a sign of the times that local restaurateurs continue to place their trust in the good ol’ Italian pie. Cheaper to produce than many other dishes — and one with an expansive, built-in fan base — pizza has become the low-risk option for a number of new and/or established restaurateurs as they ride out the recession.
Two of the District’s newer Italian operations, Ristorante Posto and Potenza, made sure to include pizza ovens in their build-outs. Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj has installed one, too, in his forthcoming Bibiana Osteria-Enoteca on New York Avenue NW. Vapiano continues its colonization of the D.C. market with its fast-casual pies, and the Fairfax-based Paisano’s plans to roll out 10 more ‘za outlets by the end of next year. Hell, even a Frenchman decided to bite the bullet and open a pizza take-out.
Now, two more pizzerias look to join the ever-expanding ranks.
Spiro Gioldasis, perhaps better known as the general manager at Mrs. K’s Toll House in Silver Spring, plans to venture out on his own with Pacci’s, a 65-seat restaurant specializing in antipasti, fresh salads, and brick-oven pizzas.
Before coming to America and working at the historic Mrs. K’s, Gioldasis specialized in pizza in his native Greece. Pacci’s, named after Gioldasis’ two sons, will be located on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring and is set to open next month.
Far more nebulous are the plans for the former Fratelli la Bufala space in Georgetown. The D.C. outlet of the massive Italian chain went up in smoke faster than a pie left in a wood-burning oven. The rumor is, according to one industry source, is that it will reopen as yet another pizzeria. More as I know it on both projects.