RedRocks Neapolitan Bistro Opens on H Street

Small Bites

Top-quality Italian Imports and house-cured meats help RedRocks achieve Neapolitan authenticity for their brick-oven pizza. Photo: Jonathan Bardzik

RedRocks, H Street's newest, and largest, restaurant, seems to have an "in" upstairs. Or maybe, the weather just couldn't bring itself to be anything but perfect for a restaurant with the largest retractable roof on the East Coast, and whose rooftop deck offers an unfettered view of both the Capitol Dome and the Washington Monument lit up at night.

RedRocks' fourth location in the Washington, DC area certainly puts the same care into their food that they have into the beautiful space. Three of their Neapolitan style pizzas earn the rare DOC status, the highest standard of authentic production, by using Italian buffalo mozzarella, San Marzano tomatoes and tapcum-like, type "00" flour, baked in a brick oven fired with oak wood. The results? A full-flavored, thin-crust pizza that is delicate and chewy, not crisp. Many of the toppings are prepared from scratch, in house, including the charcuterie.

My husband Jason and I started our night with an artichoke bottom, rich-yet-light, roasted in the brick oven, with a stuffing of fresh herbs and garlic. At the recommendation of the staff, we tried the grilled shrimp with a citrusy, spicy bite. Not a fan of sweet, the specialty cocktails pleasantly surprised me offering both easy drinkability (read: dangerously delicious) and balanced flavors from ingredients like Campari and grapefruit.

Enjoy a fresh breeze in the second floor dining room below RedRock's retractable roof. Photo: Jonathan Bardzik

Dining on the ground floor, we enjoyed a casual meal with a sports bar experience. The second floor offers a 100 person, private dining space in back, complete with its own bar, brick oven and DJ booth, and the quiet dining room space in front, open to the sky under the retractable roof. A climb to the third floor offers indoor and outdoor bar seating and a deck, soon to be covered with a permanent awning. Owner James O'Brien confirmed that you could easily dine at RedRocks four nights in a row and feel like you were in a different restaurant every time. In fact, he kind of hopes you will do that.

With the delicious and very affordable menu, we just might.

onathan Bardzik is a storyteller, demo chef and food writer in Washington, DC. You can find him outside at Eastern Market, each Saturday morning, cooking with local, fresh produce. Jonathan’s first cookbook, Simple Summer: A recipe for cooking and entertaining with ease, is available now. Grab a copy and find out what Jonathan is cooking at or his Facebook page, What I Haven't Cooked Yet. Need some foodporn? Follow @JonathanBardzik on Twitter and Instagram.

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