If Columbia Heights proper has been taken over by corporate chains, one need not venture far for some authenticity.
About two blocks northeast from the Metro station, RedRocks Firebrick Pizzeria occupies a corner rowhouse with two levels of dining plus a first-floor bar. The exposed brick interior is instantly inviting and the owners have made good use of the small space by putting mostly smaller parties downstairs with larger tables upstairs.
Of course the pizza is what you care about, and it's pretty great. On a recent Friday night, I had the RedRocks Sausage, a spicy pie with tomato sauce, fontina cheese and sweet and hot peppers. To help tame the spice I added caramelized onions. Chris has the Salsiccia, a similar, less fiery pie with sausage, fresh mozzarella, olives and tomato sauce, plus the caramelized onions he also customized (can't resist those onions). Both pizzas were quite good, as was the Flying Dog Snake Dog IPA on tap.
A few years ago, upscale pizza was a market dominated by 2 Amys and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Pizzeria Paradiso. Now, thankfully, there are lots of options around town. And with 2 Amys so difficult to get into, I'm pleased to count RedRocks as one of my favorites.
1036 Park Rd. NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 506 - 1402