The Italian Oven has brought it wood-burning pizza ovens and yesteryear prices to Georgetown. And if you pick your meal carefully you can eat cheaply and well. Pizza with a chewy, yeasty crust, comes in authentically Italian variations (with ham, artichokes and shrimp or with black olives, etc.) as well as the standard toppings.

But often theses toppings don't serve the pizza well. The best advice is to keep the pizza simple or opt for the calzone, which may be the best choice of all. It is a whole pizza folded in half to enclose a thick ooze of ricotta, mozzarella, goat cheese, sausage and basil.

The 20 moderate-priced pasta dishes would never tempt me to return, and the veal dishes were like the fare of many an Italian restaurant. Better than the main dishes have been the appetizers (fried mozzarella, fritto misto), the mozzarella-tomato salad, mussels in red sauce, minestrone and the house salad.

The Italian Oven adds another pleasant and decent little eating place to that populous section of Georgetown. 2809 M St. NW. 337-0730. L $4.35-$$10.25, D $5-$12.95. L daily ex Sat, Sun. D daily. AE, C, MC, V. Full bar.