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Fearless Critic restaurant review
DC
Food
Feel
Price
8.0
6.2
$30
Sandwiches, Pizza
Counter service

Hours
Mon–Fri 9:00am–5:00pm
Sat 9:00am–8:00pm
Sun 10:00am–5:00pm

Features Veg-friendly
Bar Wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx

www.vaceitaliandeli.com

Cleveland Park
3315 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 363-1999

Bethesda, MD
4705 Miller Ave.
Bethesda, MD
(301) 654-6367
Hours
Mon–Tue 9:00am–8:00pm
Wed–Fri 9:00am–9:00pm
Sat 9:00am–8:00pm
Sun 10:00am–4:00pm
Vace
A delicious little place where the pasta abounds and the pizza pies rule

Vace is a local institution, accompanied by its share of neighborhood hype. In this case, the enthusiasm is well deserved. This Italian-deli-cum-pizzeria-cum-provisioner serves up fresh, homemade pizza by the slice and by the pie; more importantly, the store has saved many a Sunday dinner from canned purgatory with its expansive supply of fresh pastas, sauces, cheeses, and sides.

The pizza is made with the cheese integrated into, rather than on top of the slightly sweet, tangy homemade red sauce. The medium-thick crust is an excellent middle ground between the too-crisp Ella’s and the too-thick Armand’s, boasting edges and stray cheese that are well crisped but still soft. The classic array of toppings is complemented by choices such as, during the season, fresh tomatoes (which are truly fresh), and prosciutto.

Craftier patrons can also purchase a bag of refrigerated dough, red sauce, and imported mozzarella to recreate the experience at home. The latter option seems well suited to the burgeoning class of IKEA “carpenters” who like to cook from pre-assembled scratch; for the rest of us, it’s actually cheaper to order an already-made pie, which comes with neither bragging rights nor clean-up.

Vace’s collection of fresh pastas is so expansive that one wonders if, on the afternoon of the fifth day after finishing with the beasts of the sea, God didn’t devote a half hour or so to crafting a menagerie of noodles to populate Vace’s shelves. The ravioli are especially delicious: the pumpkin variety requires little more than butter and fresh sage to sate both appetite and palate. It seems as if we discover something new every visit: spinach lasagne, a surprising flavor of Torentoni syrup, even Argentine alfajores. Most likely, once the smell of cooking pizza has drawn you to Vace, we’d be surprised if you left empty-handed.

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