Hill Top Crust: Capitol Kitchen

The pinsa crusts are made by La Casina Pinseria Romana, and they are baked without yeast.

sizza – or Pinsa? I have visited La Casina Pinseria Romana, 327 Seventh St. SE, near Eastern Market. With colleague Liz O’Gorek, I dined there for the first time shortly after it opened last November. Then we sampled delicious golf ball-sized risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella, as well as a ‘Pensa’ margarita. Since then, after wading through the routine, La Casina finally gets a beer and wine license; Extensive list well worth the wait.

I returned to La Casina this spring with my husband Peter. We started our lunch by drinking delicious fried green olives stuffed with sausage.

But we came here mainly for pizza. Or – excuse me – PENSA. “Don’t call it pizza,” owner Fabrizio Costantini told O’Gorek. “Roman pensa is a modern method of ancient Roman paste,” he explained. “It has a flour mixture, with low gluten and high moisture – but no yeast. Leaves to rest for 36 to 48 hours in the fridge. It will soften naturally, crunchy when cooked but soft and light on the inside.”

We couldn’t choose between the classic La Garum sauce (pomodoro sauce, pepperoni, olives and spices), or La Carbonara (bacon, eggs, olive oil and Pecorino Romano). We’ve finally decided on the last option – which pensa takes the classic pasta carbonara. Good Choice. Pork and smoked eggs were an acceptable marriage. The rectangular pie was served on a wooden board, and was supposed to feed two people, but we thought we’d only eat part of it and take the rest home. Yes correct. We’ve refined everything. Perfectly complete My Pinot Grigio’s rich pie. Our only complaint? a A crunchy green salad would have complemented our meal nicely, but unfortunately, there was nothing to eat.

Crispy and delicious bensa emerge from La Casina’s wood-burning oven.

Other pina options include Margherita della Casina (tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil; La Milanese (pomodoro, mozzarella, pepperoni, and salami), “Capitol Hill” (mushrooms, porcini, bacon and cheese), Plus two vegetable pancakes. You’ll also find desserts including tiramisu and fried pinsa bites topped with Nutella and powdered sugar. There is also a children’s menu.

Lunch for two with a glass of wine was $52 before tipping. The service provided by Jimmy was excellent. La Casina Pinsaria Romana is closed on Mondays; For specific hours and more information visit www.lacasinadc.com.

lido’s back

The newest Lido Pizza outlet has arrived at 415 Eighth St. SE, in Barracks Row. This pizzeria claims a lot of history. Founded in 1955 in Adelphi, Maryland (near College Park) and now a national chain, the Lido is known for its square shape and shell. With its moderate prices, Lido has long been popular with University of Maryland students on a budget – myself included. (Another Ledo is located at 814 H St. NE (Atlas area).

Ledo Pizza’s newest location—founded in 1955 and known for its square pies—opens on Barracks Row.

When I frequented the original Lido restaurant decades ago, I can’t remember the cauliflower crusts, the soft Bavarian noodles, or the Korean chicken noodle salads. How times have changed. Exactly 50 years ago, as newlyweds, Peter and I dined at the original Lido Restaurant on June 19, 1972. To celebrate Five for Nothing, we checked out Barracks Row’s Ledo on June 19, 2022. Unfortunately, our Korean chicken pizza wasn’t quite up to date. Completely to the original.

Barracks Row Ledo is open daily, primarily for mobile events, although there is ample seating. For more information or to order online, visit www.ledopizza.com.

Offspring of the Navy Yard

After debuting six years ago at Shaw, Takoda Restaurant & Beer Garden has unveiled a dazzling display at 1299 First St. SE. The 385-seat newcomer sits right across from Nationals Park. Created by the Better Hospitality Group, this 7,000-square-foot high-rise project features an expansive rooftop restaurant. (Another BHG restaurant is District Wharf’s Boardwalk Bar & Arcade.)

“We have a lot of loyal Takoda Shaw patrons living in Navy Yard. Now they have one on their doorstep,” BHG CEO Ryan Seelbach told Eater DC.

Emerging from Chef Julio Estrado’s kitchen are shredded fingers, boneless chicken wings, six sliders, and a large cheeseburger. The seven ounce pie is a combination of short rib and brisket. You’ll also find roast chicken, pulled pork, grilled portobello sandwiches, and buffalo chicken wraps.

The late-night weekend menu – including window dining – offers a basket of fried pickles, truffle fries, fish and chips. For more information visit www.takodadc.com.

Revisit Sanfan

Last month, while I was attending a Red Hat lunch, Peter decided to visit a 14-year-old restaurant in the neighborhood. Here is his experience:

It may not look lively or modern, but Sanfan Thai cuisine, Serves 653 Pa. Ave. SE A variety of delicious dishes ranging from calamari and tofu to steamed dumplings and Pad Thai. So, I sampled one of my favorite Siamese salads – Larb gai – along with crunchy spring rolls and Thai iced tea – all for $21.40.

on Pennsylvania Ave. SE, Sanphan offers Thai dishes at moderate prices in a simple and modern atmosphere.

I was pleased with the spicy appetizer salad, which consisted of minced chicken on a bed of lettuce and red onions with a citrus lemon dressing. I also loved the hot spring rolls stuffed with cabbage and dipped in a sweet and sour sauce. Plenty of indoor seating available on Mondays at lunchtime. The decor is nice but a bit spartan. What Sanphan may lack in atmosphere or energy, it makes up for in delicious cuisine, takeout service and/or express delivery. Sanphan is open daily for lunch and dinner (except on holidays). For more information visit www.sanphanthaicuisine.com.


Time to retrieve the tux and ball gown from the closet: Coming on July 24th is the 40th Annual RAMMY Awards. Sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Association, the Black Tie Gala will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. This event honors the achievements of members of the region’s restaurant and food service community.

Many Capitol Hill restaurants have been nominated for awards in various categories. Among them are Caruso Grocery and Daro (Best New Restaurant of the Year). Nominated for Rising Culinary Star: Cat Bitonetto (Duck and Peach, La Colina, a Welsh gin bar); Mangialardo’s Deli – A darling of a giant G-Man submarine (Hottest spot sandwich). For a complete list of RAMMY nominees, tickets and more information, visit www.ramw.org.

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