Best Red-Sauce Italian Restaurant

Olazzo
(multiple locations)
Photograph by Darrow Montgomery

Olazzo is not one of those Italian-American joints where the menu is longer than an uncut sheet of pasta and where Frank croons nonstop over the sound system. No, Roberto and Riccardo Pietrobono’s two restaurants refuse to pander to some misplaced nostalgia for red-checkered tablecloths and straw-basket Chianti bottles. Instead, the brothers have created a red-sauce house with modern sensibilities. At the Silver Spring location, you’ll find all the amenities of a neighborhood nightspot—full bar, designer cocktails, flat-screen TVs—but you’ll also find a warm, rustic space that looks as if an Italian cottage has been carefully broken down and rebuilt here. Olazzo is determined to win you over with its concise, well-executed menu of classic pastas as well as with prices that won’t force you to whack a lobbyist to pay the bill. Fact is, I like the vibe so much at Olazzo, I’d visit just for an icy draft of Peroni and a basket of its crusty rustic bread from Upper Crust Bakery.

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