Readers of Washington City Paper recently voted the neighborhood joint ‘Best Pizza’ in the paper’s annual Best of DC series, and the Wilson Blvd restaurant used that as an opportunity to highlight its apparent propensity for being a spot for successful first dates.
Together with Faccia Luna locations in Alexandria and State College, Pa., co-owner Joe Corey says he has talked to at minimum 300 couples who had their first date at Faccia Luna and eventually got married. At least five couples whose relationship started at Faccia Luna returned to the restaurant to propose, and two more have held their wedding receptions there.
“We always knew about it — we would talk to our customers, and every week we would find one or two new couples who had had their first date here,” Corey said. “This is something to be proud of.”
About a year and a half ago, after years of hearing stories of first dates leading to marriages, Faccia Luna began officially documenting the trend, via a continuously updated Word document.
Faccia Luna Trattoria’s Arlington location is 23 years old; the restaurant’s first location opened its doors in State College, PA in 1989. Corey describes Faccia Luna as a homegrown restaurant and attributes its longevity and success as a neighborhood institution to its “commitment to quality, coupled with an upscale, urban design.”
Washington City Paper readers praised Faccia Luna for what they called “real Italian pizza.”
“Pizzerias have come and gone, presidents have come and gone, even those critically acclaimed pizzerias have come and gone and still Faccia Luna has met the ‘Taste of Thyme,'” the restaurant said in a press release.
(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) The new Rosslyn fast-casual pizza restaurant, SpinFire Pizza, held its grand opening party yesterday, an event celebrated by co-owner Pierre Garçon and several of his Washington Redskins teammates.
Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and wide receiver Ryan Grant were among Garçon’s teammates to attend the grand opening at 1501 Wilson Blvd, enjoying the pizza made in SpinFire’s custom oven, cooked in 90 seconds.
The pizza shop opens at 11:00 a.m. every day, and it closes at 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Garçon was also filmed by TMZ on the street outside his business, discussing the business and how users of legalized marijuana in D.C. can enjoy the pizza.
Below is the press release announcing the grand opening.
Last night, Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon welcomed over 500 guests – including teammates Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Grant – to the grand opening of his new Rosslyn pizza eatery, SpinFire. Garçon and partner Fouad Qreitem, Paisano’s Pizza founder, opened the doors to their second SpinFire location in Arlington late last month.
Located at 1501 Wilson Blvd in the heart of the bustling Rosslyn neighborhood, SpinFire specializes in made-to-order individual pizzas, gourmet salads and hearty calzones, all freshly served in 90 seconds. Pizza aficionados can choose from over 30 fresh toppings, hand-cut in-house daily. Offerings at the Arlington restaurant include over 12 menu items that range from classic Italian combinations like the Prosciutto Arugula Pizza (arugula, prosciutto, olive oil, fresh mozzarella, ricotta and citrus vinaigrette) to American favorites such as the Hawaiian Pizza (shredded mozzarella, pineapple, smoked ham and scallions). Diners looking for a lighter meal can opt for a specialty salad – Fresh Mozzarella, Chicken Caesar or Prosciutto Arugula – or handpick their favorite ingredients.
With over 70 seats, Garçon and Qreitem’s brainchild also offers sweet tooth patrons the chance to indulge in homemade gelato and sip local brews from Port City Brewing Company of Alexandria, VA.Garçon is thrilled to offer SpinFire’s signature 90-second-service to the Rosslyn neighborhood. “We’re excited to be in Arlington and to provide quick service with an amazing product. Even with a line to the door, you can enjoy SpinFire on a quick lunch break,” confirms Garçon.
Another new pizza place in Rosslyn opened to the public yesterday.
Spinfire Pizza, at 1501 Wilson Blvd, is in the middle of a soft opening, training staff and preparing its 90-second, custom-made pizzas starting at 11:00 a.m. every day. It joins its neighbor just a few blocks away, Wiseguy NY Pizza, as new businesses opening this month serving the Italian staple.
The restaurant offers personal pizzas with up to four toppings for $8.99, and toppings range from pizza staples like pepperoni and mushrooms to Sriracha sausage, candied pecans and dried cranberries. It also make calzones, which, like the pizzas, are baked for 90 seconds in Spinfire’s custom, rotating oven.
The restaurant is owned by Paisano’s owner Fouad Qreitem and Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garçon. The co-owners will be in Rosslyn on April 30, when Spinfire holds its grand opening celebration.
Rosslyn’s only pizza-by-the-slice restaurant is now open, but only for lunch for the next few weeks.
Wiseguy NY Pizza opened quietly for lunch yesterday at 1735 N. Lynn Street, but by noon today there was a line out the door as owner Tony Errol’s sought after slices were being offered for half-off.
“We’ll get better,” a sweaty Errol told ARLnow.com as he and his new staff were deluged with customers. “We’re still training.”
Errol didn’t tell anyone he’d opened, hoping that crowds would be light to break in his new restaurant. That backfired, as Rosslyn’s pizza-starved lunch crowd learned of Wiseguy’s arrival. The pizza place will open for full hours and service on April 20, Errol said.
For now, Wiseguy is only offering slices of pizza, garlic knots and Junior’s Cheesecake, which is shipped from the legendary bakery in New York.
Spinfire — co-owned by Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon and Paisano’s Pizza owner Fouad Qreitem — promises to make its personalized, single-size pizzas in 90 seconds.
County Board Mulls Temporary Space for Schools — Arlington County Board members say they’re considering a request by the School Board to consider providing temporary spaces that can ease the school capacity crunch. [InsideNova]
Parking Appeal Change Approved — The Arlington County Board has approved a change to the appeals process for certain parking citations. Whereas previously only certain tickets issued by police officers were allowed to be appealed administratively, the Board on Saturday approved giving the County Manager the authority to set up a more streamlined administrative appeal process for a broader range of parking citations. [Arlington County]
New Bus Route Exceeds Expectations — The Metroway bus rapid transit route that runs from the Braddock Road Metro station to Crystal City is exceeding Metro’s early ridership projections. Already, the route is averaging 1,340 riders each weekday. [Alexandria Times]
Section of Bluemont Park Renamed — A forested, 6.6-acre section of Bluemont Park has been renamed Mary Carlin Woods, in honor of one of the property’s owners. Mary Carlin’s family owned the property from 1772 until her death in 1905. The new name will also make it easier for first responders to find the area in an emergency. [Arlington County]
RedRocks Adds Delivery, Opens Patio — Columbia Pike pizzeria RedRocks is now offering delivery service. For those who’d rather dine out, the restaurant has just opened its outdoor patio for the season. [Twitter]
Fire Works Pizza in Courthouse (2350 Clarendon Blvd) will be staying open all night tonight as part of a military veteran’s 24 hour cancer fundraiser.
The Stand Up To Cancer 24 Hour Stand-In event will kick off at 4:26 p.m. and will run through Wednesday afternoon. It will feature late night movies, bar bites buffet, popcorn, ping pong, pizza, cornhole and other fun activities for the wee hours.
There will also be a silent auction featuring VIP Caps tickets, signed hockey sticks and more.
(Alcohol will be served until 2:00 a.m. and pizza until 3:00 a.m. A complimentary movie bar bites buffet will be provided but there will not be full restaurant service overnight.)
The event is being hosted by Pat Malone, a retired Air Force veteran, and timed to coincide with the first anniversary of Pat’s successful, seven hour operation to remove a malignant tumor at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
After months of radiation, rehabilitation and physical therapy, Malone is currently cancer-free with the strong desire to both raise money for cancer research and to honor and highlight the dedicated work of his military and civilian medical team at the John P. Murtha Cancer Center at Walter Reed.
Pat is hoping to raise $5,000 during the fundraiser. Fire Works is offering to match up worth of $1,000 of donations from dine-in guests. All donations will benefit Stand Up To Cancer’s collaborative cancer research programs.
The preceding was a promoted post sponsored by Fire Works Pizza.
Rosslyn is finally getting a restaurant that serves pizza by the slice.
Wiseguy NY Pizza is opening a location, at 1735 N. Lynn Street, in the former Quiznos Subs location. In October, Wiseguy owner Tony Errol told Eater.com that the shop should open “in about three months or so.” So far, Wiseguy has not replied to a request for comment from ARLnow.com.
The pizza place’s first location is on 3rd Street and Massachusetts Ave. NW in the District, where it has received plaudits for coming close to replicating authentic New York-style pizza. It claims to make its pizza with “New Yorkinized water” thanks to a “special filter system.”
The eatery also offers garlic knots — a rare sight in the District — and cheesecake from New York staple Junior’s Cheesecake.
(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) Pizza Vinoteca, the latest restaurant flocking to Ballston, is planning to open next Thursday, Dec. 11.
The restaurant, at 800 N. Glebe Road, is still waiting for its liquor license — it expects it to arrive early next week — but CEO Ari Malcolm of the New York-based business was able to give ARLnow.com a tour of Pizza Vinoteca’s second location.
“The concept is trying to elevate fast-casual,” he said. “We’re first and foremost a dine-in restaurant, but it’s pizza — we want people be relaxed and have fun here.”
The pizzas are grilled, Providence, Rhode Island-style, made for one and cost between $10 and $14.50. There are 36 wines, all available by the glass and mostly on tap in their custom-designed system, which uses argon gas to keep wines fresh. All of the glasses cost $10 or less and are available in half-glasses. There will also be seven craft beers available and house cocktails, include a frozen vodka, prosecco and lemon sorbet creation.
Pizza Vinoteca will also deliver and offers takeout.
Malcolm got his start working his way up from server to the business side of the restaurant industry, and the native New Yorker said he takes his restaurant “very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” He said his favorite item on the menu is the jowlciale pizza, which is a smoked, cured pork cheek from a Virginia farm accompanied by spicy chili pesto, fontina cheese, pistachio and honey.
“Composed thought goes into all our pizza,” he said. “I wanted to hate our Hawaiian pizza because I think canned pineapple and ham. But ours has fresh pineapple, prosciutto and peppers. It’s unfortunately really tasty.”
The pizzas are made on a grill that Malcolm helped design, which uses three kinds of heat, including infrared, to grill the whole wheat flatbread pizzas in less than three minutes. The grill can get as hot as 800 degrees when fully cooking, Malcolm said.
“Our product is so different from what the people in this neighborhood are doing,” he said. “We like the competition, because it just means more people are coming to Ballston to eat.”
FlipKey.com, a TripAdvisor company, put together a list of “Best Pizza Worth Traveling For” and chose one pizza place for each of the 50 states. Arlington’s own Pupatella received the honors for Virginia.
A representative for FlipKey said the winners were chosen based on market research and traveler feedback.
The full list of the best pizza worth traveling for in each state is available online.
Silver Line Now Open for Business — Metro’s Silver Line opened Saturday, with local officials, reporters and curious residents crowding the new stations in Reston and Tysons to get a ride on the first Silver Line trains. So far this morning, on the first big commuting day of its debut, the Silver Line seems to be functioning normally, without incident. Over time, the Metrorail line is expected to bring further economic development to Tysons and Reston. [Reston Now, Washington Post, InsideNova]
Nation’s Oldest Female Vet Visits Arlington — The nation’s oldest female veteran, 108-year-old Army Staff Sgt. Lucy Coffey, visited the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery over the weekend. [Stars and Stripes]
Pizza Vinoteca Opening Delayed — Pizza Vinoteca, a New York City-based gourmet pizza restaurant, will not be opening in Ballston this month, as originally planned. The pizzeria is now expected to open at 800 N. Glebe Road by the end of August, according to a PR rep.
SpinFire Pizza, the 90-second pizza concept coming to 1501 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is planning a fall opening.
The restaurant will use a rotating oven to cook personal pizzas for customers in less than two minutes, it says in a press release. The 2,300-square-foot eatery will also serve salad, gelato and “a robust beer and wine selection.”
The location will be SpinFire’s second when it opens; there’s another being built in Ashburn, a few miles from the Redskins’ practice facility.
“We are very excited to build our second SpinFire location in Rosslyn with its compelling resident demographics, strong daytime office population, and a true 24/7 live, work and play environment,” Garçon said in the release.
We, The Pizza, the pizza shop launched by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, is now open in Crystal City.
Located next to TechShop in the Shops at 2100 Crystal Drive, the pizza shop has only been open “a couple of days” according to a manager in the store, and it was still crowded for lunch at 1:30 p.m. today. The shop has signs posted alerting customers “Staff is training (Be Gentle).”
The shop is open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily and serves slices of 16 custom pizzas, including a chicken poblano spicy Mexican pie, a Mortadella pico de gallo pie and a Cajun chicken and andouille pie. Slices of each pie cost $4 and a cheese slice costs $3. A medium full pizza of any style costs $18 and a large costs $20.
The restaurant also offers wings and salads, and boasts that many of its ingredients are sourced from local farms in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Mendelsohn also owns the Good Stuff Eatery burger shop two doors down from We, The Pizza.
A new restaurant that boasts serving pizzas “freshly-baked in 90 seconds” appears to be moving to Rosslyn at 1501 Wilson Blvd, next door to Roti.
Spinfire Pizza is planning on opening one of its first two locations in Rosslyn — the other is expected to open in Ashburn, Va. — but there’s no indication of when the restaurant will open its doors.
The signage on the restaurants window indicate that the pizzas will be Neopolitan-style, made-to-order, and customers will be able to choose from 50 toppings. It appears Spinfire will also offer salads, beer and wine.
A virtual tour online of the concept gives the restaurant the look of a “fast casual,” assembly line-style of eatery, which is burgeoning in Rosslyn with Roti, Chipotle, Chop’t and Tom Yum District.
The HomeMade Pizza Company store in the Lee Heights Shops has closed.
The store closed suddenly on Friday as part of a company-wide shutdown. The Chicago-based company had nearly 40 stores in the Chicago, Minneapolis, New York and Washington areas, all of which are now shuttered, according to Crain’s Chicago Business. The Arlington store, at 4514 Lee Highway, opened in 2009.
The company sold freshly-made pizzas that customers could take home to bake, in additions to salads and desserts.
Hat tip to Amanda L.
Rosslyn Startup to Be Featured on ‘Shark Tank’ — Rosslyn-based startup Zoobean will be featured tonight on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Zoobean, which describes itself as “a web service that recommends apps and books for children,” will pitch itself to a panel of wealthy investors, including billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The show airs at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. The company will also be profiled as part of ARLnow.com’s “Startup Monday” feature next week. [PR Newswire, Des Moines Register]
Pentagon City Mall Expansion Imminent — Work is expected to “begin soon” on a planned 50,000 square foot expansion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The expansion will add two new levels of retail, restaurants with outdoor seating, new elevators and escalators, and an expanded food court. Mall owner Simon is also expected to announce some of the new restaurants and retailers coming to the mall “shortly.” [Washington Business Journal]
We, The Pizza Eyes ‘Late Spring’ Opening — We, The Pizza, the pizza restaurant helmed by celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn, will be opening soon in Crystal City. No specific date has been set, but a spokeswoman said the restaurant is expected to open in “late spring.” Mendelsohn also operates burger restaurant Good Stuff Eatery in Crystal City.
‘Miss Gay Arlington’ Pageant Tonight — The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance and Freddy’s Beach Bar in Crystal City (555 23rd Street S.) will host the annual Miss Gay Arlington pageant tonight. Four contestants will compete in four categories: presentation, talent, evening gown, and on-stage question. The event starts at 8:00 p.m. and admission is $10. [AGLA]
Enterprise CarShare Launches in Rosslyn — A car sharing service from Enterprise Rent-A-Car has launched in the D.C. area. Two of its car share parking stations are located in the Rosslyn area. [Enterprise CarShare]
Photo courtesy Rick Shewell