Choose A Location Washington DC|Reston, VA

Behind the Scenes

Paolo's Ristorante

Known for our pizza, loved for our pasta, and enjoyed for our pizzaz. Traditional Italian made California fresh, with mesmerizing aromas of fresh garlic, sauce simmering, vegetables grilling...All in full view of the open kitchen. Paolo’s merges classic, traditional Italian, with fresh, modern “Californian” cuisine, focusing on flavor, and featuring an ever-changing menu of new tastes and fusions.

Paolo’s Reston, in the heart of the Reston Town Center, opened in 1989 and quickly became known as the place to wine and dine for lunch, cocktails and dinner. Twenty years later, Paolo’s is still bustling with energy and excitement, where conversations are lively, and the offerings exceptional. Paolo’s offers an intimate yet lively dining experience for all, where guests are greeted and made to feel at home with our house-made breadsticks, and famous olive tapenade, a gift from our chef. Enjoy our signature house-made Frozen Bellini at the bar, on the patio, or by the fireplace, or enjoy our classic, tantalizing desserts, like our homemade Tiramisu.

We welcome you to join us for whatever the occasion calls for, for pizza, pasta, cocktails…and of course pizzaz!

Your Hosts

Steve Benincasa

Executive Chef
Paolo's Ristorante, Reston, Virginia

Chef Steven Benincasa is among the icons of Capital Restaurant Concept chefs as he has worked in virtually every one of the Paolo's Ristorante locations during his long and dedicated C.R.C. tenure. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Chef Benincasa began his career with C.R.C. in April 1994, following a C.I.A. externship at The Occidental Grill in Washington, D.C.

Chef Benincasa started as a line cook at Paolo's Ristorante in historic Georgetown. After two short years he was promoted to Sous Chef at that location, where he was instrumental from the start in the areas of menu development and the continual advancement of the Paolo's concept. After a successful year in Georgetown, Steve moved to the Baltimore area as a Sous Chef with the opening of the second J. Paul's location in the Inner Harbor. He spent two years working under the demanding tutelage of Chef Claus Neilsen, before he earned his own Executive Chef stripes by taking over the reins at Paolo's Ristorante in Towson, Maryland.

It was in Towson where Chef Benincasa really came into his own as a culinary leader. 2001 was an extremely successful year for that Paolo's and for Chef Benincasa, who made huge strides in the areas of food cost, BOH labor costs, sanitation and the overall culinary program. For those efforts, he earned C.R.C.'s "Chef of the Year" award.

In early 2002, Steve transferred back to the Inner Harbor to complete his C.R.C. Baltimore "trifecta" by taking over as Executive Chef of Paolo's. In late 2005 Steve came truly full circle as he triumphantly returned to his home turf as the Executive Chef at Paolo's in Georgetown. Next, Steve showed his expertise at Mediterranean dishes at Neyla.

Now, still eager to create new culinary delights and always challenging himself, Steve has proudly taken the Executive Chef reigns at Paolo's here in Reston.


>> Make a Reservation & Frequently Asked Questions

Back to Top >>