Gaitherburg gets a new pizza place with the opening of Inferno Pizzeria Napoletana. Chef and owner Tony Conte, formerly of Jean Georges in New York and the Oval Room, will fire up the wood-burning oven tonight.
Although Conte is well-known for his high-end cooking, he got his start making pizza in his hometown of New Haven, Conn. "I said I'd never do it again, but here we are," the chef says with a laugh.
Expect a Margherita pizza and other pies topped with prosciutto and arugula, egg with shaved truffles and roasted potatoes with onions, smoked mozzarella and rosemary. There are also seasonal salads. Conte plans to eventually add a meat and fish option that will change weekly.
There will be Italian wines by the bottles and the glass, as well as beers by the bottle. Desserts include house made soft serve ice cream (flavors will change regularly) and an apple crostata baked in the wood-burning oven.
The glass tile-covered oven from Marra Forni in Beltsville is the focal point of the restaurant. There are reclaimed walnut tables from western Maryland, and photos of the Italian town where Conte's father was born hang on the red walls. "Everything here is personal to us, they're not just some random pictures you could find online," Conte explains.
The restaurant is located in the former South Street Steaks space and seats about 40 diners. "That's the perfect size for me," says Conte. "That way we can make everything a little at a time." Status: Opening today. 12207 Darnestown Rd., Gaithersburg, Md.; website.