Petworth's latest neighborhood pizzeria has it all: kid-friendly options, date night nooks, and a rare amaro collection.
Restaurateur Jackie Greenbaum calls it an "upscale Italian version" of sister spot El Chucho, having a similar (but larger) setup with front walls that open to the outside and rooftop open air seating. The 100-seat restaurant has a 15-seat sidewalk patio, too.
The pieces of artwork dotting the walls are her creations, and long and narrow cozy layout will make patrons "feel squeezed — in a good way," with clean lines and funky pops of red scattered throughout (architect HapstakDemitriou is also behind such restaurants as Rose's Luxury).
The menu runs from simple, less expensive items ($7 bruschetta and half-order pastas) to sophisticated plates to "splurge for one or split for two" (like a $38 balsamic glazed New York Strip). The team sampled street food in Naples last year, which led to the discovery of a must-have on the menu: fried pizza. Their $14 rolled-up crispy version tastes like a donut, she says.
And if the unique pizza crust tastes like honey and beer, it's because both are baked inside. The beer hails from Pale Fire Brewery in Harrisonburg, owned by the best friend of Coco's co-owner Gordon Banks.
Coco's went "amaro crazy," she says, with a 15-bottle vintage amari collection dating back to the 1930s that's no longer made. (D.C. in general is embracing the Italian herbal liqueur like never before). She's also bringing back a personal favorite that's fallen out of fashion: the bellini. Their frozen take has white peach, ginger wine, and toasted rosemary.
Dinner service only for now, with a weekend brunch added in three weeks, followed shortly after by breakfast and a coffee shop operation inside open at 8 a.m.
Little Coco's, 3907 14th St. NW, website