My parents came to visit me for the first time since I moved to the District, and I was nervous to show off my new life. It was difficult to choose where we’d eat; living on H Street I had too many places to choose from, but I knew I needed to narrow it down to somewhere classy and utterly delicious.
But the weather last Wednesday was brutal–an ugly mix of rain and sleet, harsh winds and bitter cold. So the decision was made based on where we could find a parking spot, and we ended up in front of Red Rocks, one of two new pizzerias on the corridor.
I had been itching to try out Red Rocks since we both moved to H Street in August. I came from Georgia, and Red Rocks was opening its door as the fourth location in the district. It has three floors, three bars, two wood ovens, and can hold up to 250 people. The menu is said to be more expansive than the other locations as well. Additionally, it has kicked off a Sunday brunch, which has already gained recognition for its to-die-for Bloody Mary. Lastly, it has a $10 express lunch during the week with “quick cooking” pizzas and other easily, ready-made eats.
I was immediately impressed by the dimly lit, chic décor and the magnificent size of the eatery. My mother, wino that she is, noticed the small chalkboard boasting happy hour specials.
Happy Hour includes $1 off all drafts, $5 wines, $5 rail drinks, and select $4 appetizers. It is typically from 5-7 p.m. on weekdays, but lucky for us, on Wednesdays they go all night long.
So we took our seats in the plush, tufted booth and started to drool at the menu. Meanwhile, our server brought over a Prosecco for my mom and I, while my dad drank his signature whiskey and ginger ale. We also ordered the meatball appetizer, which came in a cute little cast-iron skillet, had plenty of meatballs to go around, and a delicious garlic/French bread for soaking up the remaining marinara.
The Prosecco was poured generously–as in I had to sip it from the table lest it spill over. My dad reported that his well whiskey was perfection.
My one complaint when it came to Red Rocks was the portion size the pizza. They only had one option, which was a very large personal. My dad was able to eat almost all of his, and my mom and I could have split one–if we could have decided on what to get. Instead, we all got our own and I have enough leftovers to last me the week in my fridge: the classic, basic Neapolitan for my mom, the simple but zesty Marinara for me, and the meaty, zesty Sopressata for my dad.
As Chicagoans, it is very hard to impress my parents, specifically my father, when it comes to pizza. My mom and I weren’t fans of the wood-fired crust that I found to be slightly burned, but my dad is still raving about his slices, “The best pizza outside of the Loop!”
Too full for dessert, but never too full for another glass of wine, we sipped and admired our surroundings after our meals were boxed up. My mom and I loved the Prosecco, and my dad continued to rave about his pizza.
I recalled reading that Red Rocks had an amazing retractable roof. I wasn’t able to venture up there for a better look because of a private party, but we could get a good enough glance from where we were sitting. I can’t wait to go sit on the rooftop patio with the roof pulled back come summer. It’s all glass and is the largest retractable roof on the East Coast.
Although it’s just a few doors down from H&Pizza, I foresee both of the eateries staying on H for a long time. H&Pizza is quick, unique, and for someone on the go as well as a more adventurous eater. Red Rocks somehow makes pizza classy. I don’t know if it’s the ambiance, the décor or the open-air atmosphere, but I kind of forgot I was on H Street for a second. Definitely a place to take the parents, a date, go after-work, go with the girls…okay you can go there with anyone. It’s got it all, and I can’t wait to go back!