For the 16 memorable months it was open, Tino’s Pizzeria gave Cleveland Park a small, independent neighborhood place with a gas-fired brick oven churning out pies with some of the most interesting toppings in a suddenly pizza-rich city. The business struggled to stay afloat through the novel coronavirus crisis, ultimately announcing in early November that it would close, but it’s offering a brief encore tonight (Friday, December 11) to kick off a limited run that chef-partner Logan Griffith is calling a “farewell tour.”
Tino’s will reopen for two weekends, December 11-12 and December 18-19, with online orders available for pickup and third-party app delivery. Friday hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and it will open around 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Griffith, who previously worked in kitchens at the legendary Inn at Little Washington, the Watergate Hotel, and the Blue Duck Tavern, impressed customers and critics at Tino’s by pairing cured Virginia ham with flourishes like smoked scamorza cheese or a vinegar-shallot reduction he dubbed “shallot goo.” His fine dining approach included rotating vegetables for salad and workshopping a stretchy dough with a uniformly round lip forming the crust.
The chef has two new options for the limited run: a new pizza ($18) — with “Surryano” ham, creamy mornay sauce, charred apples, hot honey, shaved chestnuts, and arugula — and a winter endive salad ($12) with arugula, walnut puree, apples, aged balsamic vinegar, and Parmesan.
Griffith says he and managing partner Joe McCarthy are tied to the lease for at least another year, and they’re still figuring out what they can do with the space. Subletting it to another operator is one possibility.