il parco (Photo via Twitter/eat_dc)Navy Yard residents may soon be able to take a break from ice skating to eat Neapolitan pizza and sip rare Italian craft beers.

Il Parco, a Neapolitan-style Italian restaurant at Canal Park is planning to open sometime this weekend with a limited menu.

The eatery at 202 M St. SE is replacing Park Tavern, which closed in November. The eatery is still owned by Barracks Row Entertainment, the restaurant group led by Richard Cervera.

The Neapolitan food will be prepared by Roshan Ashiq who was previously a chef at il Canale in Georgetown. Cervera said the restaurant will also have an extensive Italian wine collection and several Italian craft beers that are hard to find stateside.

Still, Cervera said the main focus of the eatery is its pizza, which will be cooked in a 7,000 pound, made-in-Italy wood-fired oven.

“I think we have the biggest Italian-made oven in the city,” he said. “We actually had to remove a glass wall to bring it in with a forklift, so that’s a big visual cue when you walk in the front door.”

Cervera said he planned on the soft opening so he and his staff could gradually add to the menu and make sure all of the new equipment works properly. Because Cervera doesn’t know exactly when the eatery will open this weekend, ice skaters at Canal Park may be the first to try the new restaurant. Cervera said that once the ice rink closes in the Spring he plans to have patio seating outside the restaurant.

Photo courtesy of Twitter/ Eat It All


Radici Sign

The Italian grocery store and small restaurant Radici is set to open near Eastern Market this weekend.

Located at 303 7th St. SE, Radici will carry high-end Italian food and organic produce. Its restaurant with 14 seats indoors and room for 34 people outside will be led by two Italian chefs, co-owner Bridget Thibodeau-Sasso said Monday.

Radici, whose name is Italian for “roots,” will sell pasta, sauces and more and have the feel of an Italian home, Thibodeau-Sasso said. She decorated its interior with hand-blown lamps from Venice and terra-cotta made by an Italian company that’s made the material for 500 years.

Thibodeau-Sasso, who lived in Italy for 13 years, said she loved that Italians enjoy communal, Thanksgiving-type meals on a regular basis.

“One thing that I believe is lacking in American culture is that there aren’t a lot of family dinners,” she said, adding that she hopes the grocery store and restaurant can bring neighbors together.

Radici will have two entrances — one on C Street SE, on the restaurant side of the business, and another on 7th Street SE, leading to the grocery store.

Thibodeau-Sasso said she opted to open the business on the Hill because the neighborhood has a “European feel.”

Radici is slated for a health inspection this week and should open Saturday or Sunday. The owners will hold a grand opening celebration next month, Thibodeau-Sasso said.


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