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Clarendon’s Alto Fumo: Authentic House-Made Italian Fare With Flair (and a Great Bar)

Not every neighborhood is lucky enough to have a chef-owned, non-chain, full-service Italian restaurant with a lively bar, but Clarendon does. And oh look: Free parking in the rear.

Alto Fumo Pizza and Pasta Bar in the heart of Clarendon is a locally owned business that takes pride in offering fresh and wholesome authentic Italian dishes, created from the finest regionally sourced ingredients and prepared by chefs with more than 30 years of experience.

The pasta is made in the kitchen, nothing is ever frozen, and the pizza… well, one look at the Yelp! reviews and you will be curious about what the raving is about.

There are daily specials on the menu, including Monday evening’s 12-inch, two-topping pizza with two salads and two glasses of wine for a whopping $25. Happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-7 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday from 12-7 p.m. includes $4 drinks as well as a list of substantial small plates for $5 — among them, fried oysters in remoulade sauce, the popular crispy calamari and the killer meatball sliders.

You can do the traditional “prima piatto” method of Italian multi-course dining — and you should! — but for a simpler after-work weeknight dinner, Alto Fumo has you and your wallet covered. The pasta portions are generous, the salads ample and the “Old School Subs” (with fries) will easily get you to your next meal.

And if for some rare reason the pizzas and pastas on the menu are not striking your fancy, you can “build your own” from the kitchen’s house-made pastas, crusts, sauces and toppings. It’s your chance to get creative with capellini, gnocchi, ziti, tri-color fettuccine, basil pesto cream, Bolognese, marinara and vodka sauce.

Clarendon is lucky to have a locally owned, authentic Italian restaurant owned and operated by chefs who take deserving pride in their efforts.

Did we mention the free parking in the rear?

Alto Fumo–the name means “high-rising smoke,” as if from a fired pizza oven–is at 2909 Wilson Boulevard; the phone number for carry-out and reservations is 703-276-3099; the email address is [email protected]. Delivery and kids’ menu are available.

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