Beth sent me an email yesterday about stopping at Pasta Blitz on Johns Hopkins Road to discover people building a wood-fired pizza oven and planning a January name change to Facci Ristorante:
Pasta Blitz is a big deal around here, although it hasn't been a regular place for me. So I broke my "no reporting for the blog" rule and called the Clarksville Pasta Blitz where Esposito was happy to talk about the new Facci Ristorante.
I stopped in at my local Pasta Blitz today to get a gift certificate today and the owner (Mr. Gino Palma-Esposito-per his business card) told me that the name and menu are changing January 6th. It will be Facci- ristorante-wood fire pizza-winebar. The fire hearth was being built as I stood there.
He assured me that the gift certificate will be good at the new place and that they will make anything from the current menu that's not on the new menu. Great for my elderly neighbor who loves the place.
The Pasta Blitz on Johns Hopkins Road will be changing to Facci and going for a "city feeling," according to Esposito. They're going to have a bar and full service. He says they're trying to keep prices down, but they sound like they're aiming to compete with casual dining places like La Palapa Too, Victoria Gastropub, etc. They're aiming for a private, soft opening on January 6 and a public opening around January 11.
Facci's wood-fired pizza oven could be spectacular. Esposito is from Naples, and he is importing tomato, cheese and flour for an authentic taste that he says require Italian ingredients. Think $10 for a personal margherita pizza. As I have written before, I know it is hard to deliver reliable, great food. But I'm a fan of Coal Fire on Rte 108 even when it isn't perfect, and Johns Hopkins Road is close enough that I could walk there in the next blizzard if the pizza is good enough.
Again, Facci is only replacing the Pasta Blitz next to the JHU Applied Physics Lab. Officially, it's Laurel, but it is really caught between Columbia and Fulton. If Facci is a hit, Facci said he might change the Clarksville location, but that's in the future. First, we'll need a review of Facci by the Pizzablogger.
Facci Ristorante (as of January 2010)
7530 Montpelier Road
Laurel, MD 20723-6014
NEAR: This is on Johns Hopkins Road just west of Rte 29. It is a shopping center that includes La Palapa Too and Kloby's Smokehouse. This is just south of Columbia and just north of Fulton.