Papa Razzi

Italian
$$$$ ($15-$24)
'

Editorial Review

Papa Razzi gets points just for being where it is – smack in the middle of Georgetown in a former firehouse that dates to the mid-1800s. Inside it's a hip urban watering hole with pale orange, faux-finished walls that soar for two stories, punctuated with photos of the rich and famous snapped by – you guessed it – the paparazzi.

Students, tourists and visitors both domestic and foreign frequent this establishment.

Risotto is cooked to order and spiked with lots of fresh stuff, and the pizza has the promised thin crust and taste of wood smoke. There's some definite attention to detail at Papa Razzi. The bread basket holds great focaccia and ultra-thin breadsticks, the Parmesan is generous shavings of the real thing and a pepper grinder sits on every table.

The fish, especially when offered as a daily special, is a good bet.

Try it for an office lunch, dinner after a movie or a leisurely, multi-course meal.

A word of explanation about the restrooms: That voice you hear, speaking Italian in a slow, deliberate fashion, is not some crazed linguist muttering to himself. It's a nonstop Berlitz-style language tape. A bit odd, maybe, but it beats the usual Muzak.

– Kathleen Stanley