Il Pizzico, Rockville, MD

I received some criticism for my thoughts about Casa Nonna (criticism, even spirited criticism, is always welcome, by the way). A few nights later, my son and I had dinner at Il Pizzico in Rockville, a white-tablecloth, red-sauce Italian restaurant that reminds me of what authentic, mom-n-pop, neighborhood restaurants should be all about. Critics, do go here and have a run at this place to fully understand my perspective.

I started off with a Dolcetto d’Alba ($8 for a medium pour) – the menu merely said “Dolcetto,” and listed neither producer nor vintage; fortunately, it was a palatable wine. My young dining companion went with the Diet Coke ($2.50). (Note: I feel I should add the price of soft drinks because they aren’t cheap; Il Pizzico did offer a refill, however, which we politely declined).

We split a Timballo di Melanzane ($8.95) as an appetizer along with their basket of passable bread and some nice olive condite as a spread – no oil for the table here, though I suspect if you requested it, they’d happily provide it – Il Pizzico is a very welcoming restaurant, with lots of senor citizens as diners. We couldn’t help comparing the timballo di melanzane with the Kasar Sahanda we’d had the night before at Nizam’s: granted, the timballo was more expensive, but also so much more interesting – eggplant layered with mozzarella, Parmigiano, and tomato, and baked in its earthenware dish until golden brown. They did not need to wash the dish, as it had been swiped clean with our bread.

Matt got the Raviolini di manzo con la riduzione di vitello e vino rosso ($14.95) as he had a taxing day and was craving meat. It was postage stamp ravioli stuffed with braised beef, and red wine reduction (I warned him about the red wine reduction, but he had at it with great aplomb).

For me, it was the Scallopine alla Krizia ($22.00), three large pieces of veal with prosciutto, melted cheese, and tomato sauce (hard to go wrong there, right?) It was very good, although I was really Jonesing for a saltimbocca dish which wasn’t on the menu.

This little foray up I-270 wasn’t cheap – the bill came to $70.38 before tip, but the food was honorable, the staff was as nice as can be, and the wine was just fine. This is the type of restaurant that I really cherish, although I council that it’s a touch expensive for daily dining. This is an important neighborhood restaurant that serves a seemingly well-heeled, devoted clientele – it’s a win all the way around.

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