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Posted at 12:14 PM ET, 02/14/2011

Coming to Bethesda: Pizzeria da Marco

By Tom Sietsema

When it opens in Bethesda on March 28, Pizzeria da Marco will be blistering its Neapolitan pies in the same fashionable domed brick oven used by such top chefs as Mario Batali of the new Eataly in New York.

But the 4,800-pound, oak-burning baking statement designed by Stefano Ferrara, a third-generation craftsman from Naples, isn't the new restaurant's only distinguishing characteristic. With an eye on authenticity, general manager Alessandro Ferro has hired Naples native Dino Santonicola, 35 - a friend of Ferrara's -- to watch over the crusts that begin with super-soft and fine "double zero" Italian flour.

"I know what I've been doing for a long time," says Santonicola, who's been making pizzas for the past 22 years, beginning in the neighborhood joint of his youth. Until he joined forces with his boss last fall, Santonicola resided in Seattle, where he opened the well-received Via Tribunali in Seattle in 2004. Ferro comes to the area from Bartolotta restaurant in Las Vegas; before he got busy with his latest project, he was a manager at Assaggi Osteria in McLean.

Decorated with mosaic tiles and iron chandeliers, Pizzeria da Marco (8008 Woodmont Ave; 301-654-6083; will seat up to 130 customers in 5,000 square feet of restaurant, including two semi-private party spaces. In addition to the chef's dozen or so 12-inch pizzas, the menu will feature salads, calzones, charcuterie, 12 wines by the glass and gelato churned on site, making it "a little trip to Naples," hopes the chef.

By Tom Sietsema  | February 14, 2011; 12:14 PM ET
Categories:  Restaurants  | Tags:  Tom Sietsema  
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Bethesda is lucky, Dino's pizzas are the best! Best wishes to Pizzeria da Marco...

Posted by: Ejones75 | February 15, 2011 12:11 AM | Report abuse

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