Cleveland Park will soon get an all-day destination for crispy pizzas cooked in a Marra Forni oven.
Tino’s (3420 Connecticut Avenue NW), expected to open in early September, is named after chef/owner Logan Griffith’s new baby boy, Constantino.
Some of Griffith’s modern Neapolitan-styled pizzas show love for underwater ingredients. There’s the Prawn Love (prawns, piperade, roasted garlic, parmigiano, parsley) and an Octopie (charred octopus, tomato, garlic, olives, basil). Super seasonal toppings include arugula, peaches, and sun dried tomato. Figs help build its “Get Figgy With It” pizza alongside Italian soppressata, and squash blossoms top its “Blossoming” pie.
Pies also have a starring role at dessert. The “I’m Cocoa for Hazelnut Pizza” is topped with Nutella, candied hazelnuts, toasted coconut, cocoa nibs, and seasonal fruit.
“I’ve been working on the dough for a couple years,” says Griffith, who teamed up with chef and mentor Joe McCarthy to open Tino’s. His technique, which includes fermenting naturally-leavened bread for 48 hours, results in “a nice puff on the rim.”
Along with 10 pies, the opening menu will feature three salads and seasonal specials. White letters on a black felt board, situated atop its oven in the back, will advertise the day’s rotating selections.
Griffith’s regarded resume includes cooking at the Inn at Little Washington and Blue Duck Tavern. His most recent restaurant gig was helping reopen the Watergate Hotel in 2016, where crispy pies were the main rooftop attraction under chef Michael Santoro’s watch.
Fellow Watergate alum Maria Galindo Camacho, who was most recently worked at the Four Seasons, will lead the food and beverage service team. The drinks list calls for six beers and 10 wines, along with a handful of rotating batch cocktails.
Hours are scheduled for Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The 30-seat pizzeria is going for a “homey and intimate” look, he says, complete with textured clay-colored walls and stained wood paneling. The buildout took around five months to complete. He’s a longtime fan of Cleveland Park, attracted to the neighborhood for its constituency of 30-somethings and family-friendly vibes.
Though the area has been plagued by a series of restaurant closures — his longtime favorite Palena left the scene in 2014 — he thinks the time is right for a revitalization.
“It does need some redirection back to it. There are a lot of people who live here who go outside [of the neighborhood] to eat,” he says.