Il Pizzico is a pinch of excellence

March 23, 2008, midnight | By Sean Howard | 14 years, 2 months ago

Italian restaurant is a hidden gem

Many travelers on Rockville Pike likely pass Il Pizzico without half a thought of what it might be. Situated in a dull strip mall on the side of the road, few would suspect that they are missing out on one of the best and most authentic Italian restaurants in the Washington, D.C.-metropolitan area.

Its demure outer appearance is soon forgotten after diners walk in and are greeted both by plaques touting Il Pizzico's success and a staff professional in appearance. The quality of the service is established within seconds when waiters seat diners with the quiet deliberation and placement.

After receiving menus the staff wisely gives the patrons time to be distracted by the abundance of Italian art around the room seemingly in preparation for an authentic dining experience.

The menu is not cluttered with typical Italian fare that can be found in many restaurants, but instead focuses on more unique and intriguing options. The menu is filled with anti-pasta, pasta and unpronounceable Italian dishes that sound delicious and have been mercifully translated to help English speakers. Items like the insalata di crescione, a watercress salad with parmesan cheese and croutons topped with Caesar dressing, and the carre di agnello al rosmarino, a rack of lamb with rosemary, garlic and a Chianti wine sauce will treat diners to a new and tasty experience. If daring, diners can adventure on to the specials menu that includes some more exotic options include marinated mahi-mahi and venison in a reduced sauce.

In less than a minute, the waiter will bring out bread and an olive spread so delicious it will make other condiments appear as mere paste. And future dishes continue with the excellent taste.

The entrées are well prepared and placed, with no obscene amount of any one ingredient. Meat lovers will note that the portion of meat is rather small in select meals. It appears that Il Pizzico is going for quality, not quantity. Despite the lack of carnal appeal, the meals are delicious and can easily fill a patron up with their rich, savory taste.

Sadly, the bill is where the magic ends. Despite being inexpensive for it's high quality, a meat eater's price can easily rise above $20, while vegetarians luck out and can eat for under $10. Unless there's money to burn or something to celebrate, this place may not be the best option for a regular night out. But despite the fact that it puts a big dent in a teenager's wallet, this restaurant is one of the best places in the area for true Italian food.

Il Pizzico is located at 15209 Frederick Rd Rockville, MD 20850. It is open for lunch at 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is open for dinner from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and will stay open until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.

Sean Howard. There is a spy among us and his name is Sean Howard. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sean moved to Germantown prior to his current residence in Gaithersburg. Although he has now lived in Maryland for most of his life, he has retained his loyalty to … More »

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