Dining Out, Wining & Dining

Via Roma!

By the Gastronomes

When we went to the summer drink menu unveiling at the Capital Wheel in National Harbor last month we ran into the former General Manager of Bond 45, Biagio Cepollaro. Over the years we had developed a nice relationship with Biagio and it was nice to catch up and talk about his own restaurant in Camp Springs, Maryland…Via Roma. After a brief conversation we decided that Via Roma was a good candidate for Dining Out. We were not disappointed.

Via Roma opened on February 15th during a winter storm and the beginnings of worldwide Covid-19 epidemic in 2021. Biagio may laugh about it now, but what a beginning. The restaurant is part of a building complex and sits at the front as you drive into the complex. The restaurant is very open by way of one whole wall being glass with the middle section behind the bar opens up to the patio. If it were not for the depiction of the Italian buildings on the wall, I would have thought I was in a California style restaurant by all of the blonde wood including tables and chairs, however, with the Italian buildings on one wall, the open kitchen at the back of the dining area and the glass wall behind the bar, did indeed give the vibe of sitting in the piazza in Rome.

We have many “pizza” restaurants in the area, but few Pinsa Romana, in fact Via Roma is the first and only certified Pinseria in the region. Biagio and his business partner Antonio Rusciano aka Topolino follow the original Pinsa Romana recipe respecting the traditional Pinsa making method making them #192 of the Orginale Pinsa Romaan Association in the world. The definition of Pinsa comes from the Latin word “Pinsere” which in Italian language means “to stretch and to spread”. “Modern Roman Pinsa” is a reinterpretation of an ancient Roman recipe invented during the Ancient Roman Empire, reworked with new ingredients and modern techniques. The dough is made and set aside to raise for 80 – yes 80 – hours before it is ready to be turned into the pinsa crusts and loaves used for the sandwiches. It is an interesting process.

At Via Roma everything is made from scratch except two dessert offerings including the pasta.

Unlike our normal dining out process, we didn’t order from the menu since, in traditional Italian style, Biago and Topolino wanted to showcase their wares. We were served a variety of dishes. The first was a bowl of delicious meatballs in a very rich and thick marinara sauce. These meatballs are the real deal. Next came the Gamberi & Calamari consisting of lightly fried shrimp, calamari, zucchini and perconi peppers – all very tasty dipped in the accompanying lemon aioli. Out came the house made hummus followed by the Margherita Pinsa. The toppings were a combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella, basil and EVOO. The topping was generous and a great flavor combination. The crust is the difference. Thick, crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside. As Biagio explained, the crust makes it to your mouth instead of limply falling down. Just when we thought we were finished, out came the Pasta alla Genovese. No one in our party had ever had this classic pasta from Naples so it was a real treat. This slow cooked beef and onion meat sauce tossed with rigatoni pasta is a keeper. All three of us were full to the brim at this point but who can resist a cannoli? Yes, we managed to polish them off as well.

To note, the bar that opens up to the patio has about fifteen seats and all of the libations you may desire. There are 13 wines offered by the glass and a significant number of beers and ales on the menu. If you aren’t in the mood for a full meal, this is a great place to have a beverage and an app while doing some people watching.

Via Roma is a 10 minute drive from Old Town Alexandria – it is about one mile off of the Route 5 (Branch Avenue North) exit off of the Beltway in Camp Springs. Another bonus is that there is ample free parking.

Via Roma

4531 Telfair Boulevard

Camp Springs, MD



0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes