Thursday, December 24, 2009

Facci Ristorante -- Wood Fired Pizza Replacing Pasta Blitz In Laurel

A piece of the local Pasta Blitz chain will be changings its name and menu -- and they're bringing wood-fired competition to Coal Fire Pizza.

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:

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.

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.

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
(301) 604-5555

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.


Anonymous said...

I can walk to Pasta Blitz from my office, but would drive to Coal Fire any day for the pizza, salads, and wings.

Anonymous said...

IF, its any good, it would be great to have it on this side of the county. I'm tired of heading toward EC for anything yummy.

RDAdoc said...

I went to pick up a pizza the other day and noticed the changes inside the restaurant. I asked the person who was ringing me up if it was under new ownership. He said no he is the owner and told me about the changes. Yesterday I noticed the new sign outside the restaurant. I very much hope his endeavor is a success! Whenever I order from there I get the argula salad and the gourmet veggie pizza and recommend both. I am looking forward to trying the new wood-fire pizza.

Work in progress said...

Is Facci going for the TSG (That EU trademark) Neopolitan Pizza with their wood fire oven?

HowChow said...

@ Kevin -- Not sure if they're going all the way for the trademarked pizza. But I know they're serious enough about the transition to bar my wife. She tried to pick up a pizza yesterday, and they politely turned her away. Just serving friends and family that night. Grand opening next week.

Anonymous said...

@ Kevin- I asked the owner Gino Esposito and he said Yes, they are going all the way for the trademarked pizza, APN and VPN.

Anonymous said...

Had dinner at the bar last night. Ate shrimp gondola appetizer...huge shrimp in a wonderful sauce presented on little triangle shaped toast...mmmm good!
My wife & I shared the Franco Palmo pizza & the Vitello Saltimbocca. Both excellent. Great wine list that I hear will grow as time goes by. Good service friendly bartender (Joey) & manager (Lisa).
Recommend highly.

Cathy said...

FABULOUS is all I (and my family) can say about Facci's! We ate dinner there on Sat. and everything from the drinks (excellent Cosmos), to the appetizers (Shrimp Gondola-to die for!), to the pizzas (being a New Yorker, it's hard to find a good pizza outside NY, but the crust, sauce and toppings were delicious!), and finally, to the desserts (we ordered pastries and gelato-all fantastic!).
There's no need to go to Baltimore's Little Italy for great Italian food, beautiful decor, and a fabulous manager (Lisa-you're the best!).
Treat yourself to an excellent meal and go to Facci's!

Anonymous said...

I was there for happy hour yesterday with my husband and mother-in-law. Food was great. Half price appetizers and $1 off glasses of wine and draft beers (maybe bottled beers too). Matt was our bartender, he was great and Lisa (manager) came to us and talked to us. It was a really nice experience until our check came...they charged us full price on our drinks plus there was an extra drink on there that we didn't order!! We asked Matt about it and he had Lisa fixed it. He apologized and said it was the register. I guess it doesn't recognizes happy hour prices on drinks. He gave us the credit card check (no itemized receipt). We said it was okay, paid up and asked for the itemized receipt and left. Big mistake...we should have looked at the itemized receipt while we were there. They still over charged us!!! This is actually the second time this happened. The first time was with James, he said just deduct it from his tip. Really?!?! We couldn't do it. So we are going to give them one more chance. If it happens again...they will lose us as customers. And this really is too bad because they have great food, wine and so close to our house. Lisa and Gino fix your register, please.