One of the first things that you will see when you walk in the door is the pastry case overflowing with beautiful pastries and desserts baked fresh in-house every day. Behind the case you'll find a very talented barista manning a stunning Italian espresso machine. Italian Cobra beer taps and a temperature controlled wine pour system may catch your eye at the bar. Also immediately noticed is the expansive open air space created by the large glassless windows that connect the large outdoor patio with the interior dining room. Ceiling fans hung from the ceiling, but were not enough to cut the thick muggy air built up inside the restaurant. With broken air conditioning, the restaurant was very hot and uncomfortable even at 9pm, but the staff did their best to constantly refill water glasses and receive delivery after delivery of large ice bags to keep food products cold.
Keith and I met up with some old friends for a late dinner and were seated in the middle of the main dining room. We were all sweltering hot, slipping in our seats from sweat. But most everyone enjoyed a refreshing glass of wine or beer as we perused the menu. The menu is basic with salads, sandwiches, and pizzas with a few special entrees also all offered as gluten-free. The pizzas stood out to me as they were described as 12” pies, hand tossed, and fired in their stone hearth oven. The pizza, much like DC, is a blend of styles and influences. The dough is a homemade sourdough that's crispy, full of character and holds up to your topping choices. I settled on the Wardman, that came with sliced mushrooms, leeks, and a mix of white cheeses. The leeks were a little raw for my liking and a bit overpowering, but the cheese was plentiful and chewy. The size was large enough that I barely ate 2 of the 6 cut pieces. I took the rest home. Keith ordered The Babe calzone stuffed with an assortment of meat and served with a side of Caesar salad. It did not come with any tomato sauce so he had to ask for some on the side. The flavors were muddled and average, probably from the excessive dough. Others in our group ordered other pizzas, sandwiches, or salads. Everything looked fresh but was lacking a touch of seasoning. Our friend Kerry, who has a severe gluten allergy, was happy to see so many gluten-free options on the menu and even splurged on a side of macaroni & cheese to go along with her Cobb Salad. The salad was delicious in her opinion, but the mac & cheese needed salt. Overall, service, price, and food was average and unimpressive. The ambience might be better on a less humid night. Open City is a casual place that I might stop by for lunch if I were ever in the Woodley Park area, but would not go out of my way for again.
Total Rating: 3
Food: 3, Price: 3, Service: 3, Ambience: 2.5, Accessibility: 4
What I ate:
Sliced mushrooms, leeks, thyme, gruyere, parmesan & mozzarella
Plus Keith ate:
The Babe Calzone
Italian sausage, ham, pepperoni & mozzarella