Your chance to break out from the pedestrian pepperoni.
Puccini’s Smiling Teeth in Lexington’s Chevy Chase Place gives us the opportunity to branch out from the usual pizzas and instead challenges new flavors. This place is a standard for my household. It’s good, it’s quick, they are kid-friendly, and they have good beer. So, perfect.
The places is comfortable, big booths that sit six adults easily. There are also lots of tables and two private rooms for your gatherings. The walls are covered in these pizza smiling faces.
We always start with the garlic bread with cheese ($3.95) and beer. The cheese bread is thickly sliced with a sprinkling of oregano on top. It comes with marinara to dip. There is the usual red pepper flakes and parmesan on the table that I use liberally.
Puccini’s always have good beer on tap. The last time we visited, I had the Dunkel from Blue Stallion. They’ve got cans as well but draught is just so much better.
I have tried just about everything here but my favorite are the pizzas and calzones. My current favorite is the Queen of Hearts calzone stuffed with artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and ricotta cheese ($7.75). I always forget how much I like ricotta cheese then I taste this calzone and all I want is more ricotta. Unlike many other restaurants, Puccini’s doesn’t waste a lot of space on a poorly closed calzones with a huge bread moon.
Kids plates are cheap and always well received. My youngest likes the penne with marinara ($3.75). It’s messy but it’s good. They sometimes even eat the carrots used to help add some sweetness to the sauce. My son loves the little hands plate that includes shredded mozzarella, black olives, and crackers ($2.75).
I don’t eat much meat. Unlike most other pizza places, Puccini’s provides many suggestions of vegetarian options. The Zorba the Pizza is a standout in this menu section offering feta cheese, olives, and spinach, which turns out to be a really good combination. A 12″ medium pizza is $13.85.
Although I’ve never done it, Puccini’s has a busy takeout scene. They also offer delivery.
I’ve never tried their desserts since the beer, bread, and calzone are always too much food. They do offer tiramisu ($4.95) and Carnegie Deli cheesecake ($5.25) so I may have to eat half a calzone next time I go.