This restaurant is one of 10 classics in The Washington Post’s 2019 Fall Dining Guide.
Hoping to be home at night, Enzo Livia opened his business — 29 years ago — as an Italian deli. A year in, customers told the Sicilian native they wanted to linger, and he turned the Rockville storefront into a first-come, first-served restaurant. Here’s to squeaky wheels and the chef who listened to them.
Il Pizzico is a checklist of what diners want from a neighborhood restaurant. Bread, served with black olive tapenade, is warm. The dining rooms are softly lit and soundproofed. The cooking — sweet corvina kissed with lemon butter, bucatini tossed with pancetta and a kicky tomato sauce — is devoted to good ingredients, simply handled. The icing on the torta is suave service.
“It’s been a good run so far,” says Livia. Here’s to decades more, and to the hope that the aioli-striped salmon croquettes and lemon cake with limoncello gelato — pure sunshine — live on.
2 stars (Good)
Il Pizzico: 15209 Frederick Rd., Rockville. 301-309-0610. ilpizzico.com
Open: Dinner Monday through Saturday, lunch weekdays.
Prices: Dinner mains $17-$29.
Sound check: 70 decibels / Conversation is easy.