About Us

Masseria, a new restaurant and a first for chef Nick Stefanelli, is a celebration of big, harmonious flavors and the finest Italian cooking that shaped his palate as a child. In October 2016, it earned a Michelin star within Washington, DC’s first-ever guide. The restaurant’s name carries a heartfelt meaning, defining the charming agricultural farm of the Puglia region, which is heavily rooted in Stefanelli’s heritage. All of which means that running his own restaurant is now more of a lifestyle than a profession, by taking the pretense out of fine dining and keeping it to just a whisper through its service. Entering into a handsome courtyard with relaxed seating, Masseria, an exclusive restaurant for 60 guests, combines the raw and simple look of an Italian country estate, the industrial grit of the Union Market district, and the undeniable chic of its fashion-savvy chef-owner.

Stefanelli’s innovative Italian tasting menus sing with touches of coastal cultures and feature a satisfying range of his signature cuisine. Fresh hand-crafted La Paste along with freshly prepared Pesce and inventive Carne dishes comprise the rustic yet refined progression of courses. Washington Post food critic, Tom Sietsema, selected Masseria as third among his top 10 favorite restaurants in Washington, DC for 2015. Washingtonian Magazine selected Masseria to the #12 spot in its list of the city’s Top 100 Very Best Restaurants for 2016. The Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington nominated Masseria in category of “New Restaurant of the Year” and “Pastry Chef of the Year” for 2016.

team bios

Nicholas Stefanelli

Chef / Owner

Nicholas Stefanelli is the chef and owner of Masseria in Washington, DC. Stefanelli grew up in suburban Maryland with a strong influence coming from his close relationship to his Greek and Italian grandparents whose culinary heritage was a fact of life. Visiting Puglia, the source of his Italian roots, Stefanelli became enchanted by the masseria, centuries-old agricultural estates whose residents worked the land, created their own food, and hosted visitors, neighbors, and friends with great warmth. Striking out on his own and building his culinary career in the Nation’s capital, Stefanelli was determined to recreate that sensibility in his first establishment. The result is Masseria.

David Kurka

GM / Sommelier

Since his very first job gutting salmon at a fish cannery, Alaska native David Kurka has been more or less immersed in the food service industry. He gained his wine expertise working with top professionals in the area, including John Wabeck at Inox; Jaime Lang at Brasserie Beck; Matt Carroll at Brabo; Andy Myers and Jarad Slipp at Cityzen; and Kathy Morgan at Range.

Julien-Pierre Bourgon

Bar Manager

A native of Hull, Quebec, Julien-Pierre Bourgon resorted to creating his own cocktails when he realized that the local bars were not producing drinks like Mama used to make. He got his professional start learning from Stefan Trummer, a veteran of the cocktail revival movement, and went on to America Eats Tavern, José Andrés’ project in partnership with the U.S. National Archives, where he was immersed in classic American cocktails.

Sean K. Tener

Sous Chef

Sous chef Sean Tener has had the advantage and the pleasure of spending most of his career in the kitchen alongside Nick Stefanelli. Their friendship and familiarity has been a boon to Masseria from the beginning, creating a welcoming atmosphere and ensuring that the kitchen runs like a well-oiled machine: one that’s amped up on creativity, adrenaline, and a shared love of the Italian classics and modern, inventive culinary riffs.

Turner Jenkins

Sous Chef

Turner Jenkins is, by his own definition, the ‘baby’ in the Masseria kitchen. A 2010 graduate of L’Académie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg, Maryland, he stayed on at Bibiana working with Nick Stefanelli after a six-month internship, and has been learning from him ever since. Jenkins hails from a Seattle-based family of world-travelers, and brings a global perspective to his cooking. The traditions and details of Italian cuisine appeal to him deeply; he especially enjoys making pastas, and seafood butchery and production. The intimate scale is what excites him about Masseria, and the level of refinement that scale allows on each plate.

Jemil Gadea

Pastry Chef

Pastry chef Jemil Gadea is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan and a graduate of that city’s Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. He has worked at Wolfgang Puck’s establishment in Downtown Disney and, in Las Vegas, at Spago, at Jean-Louis Palladin’s Napa, and at Picasso at the Bellagio. For over three years prior to the opening of Masseria, his desserts complemented Nick Stefanelli’s Italian cuisine at Bibiana.

press room

For press inquiries, please contact Simone Rathlé | simone@simoneink.com | 703-534-8100

15 City-Inspired Thanksgiving Menus from Local Chefs

09.14.2016 | ELLE Decor

This all-American holiday dinner varies greatly throughout the country—and we don’t just mean baked versus fried turkey. Here, we asked top chefs from 15 cities for their own take on local Thanksgiving cuisine.

Masseria's Chef on One Year of Italian Cooking in Northeast D.C.

08.29.2016 | Eater DC

When Nicholas Stefanelli opened Masseria last year at 1340 4th St. NE, it was a unique entity — a free-standing, destination restaurant near Union Market. Since then, crowds have flocked to the chef’s elevated Italian cuisine — served in three- to six- course tasting menus — as well as for cocktails and wine al fresco.

GQ's Favorite New Dishes of 2016

06.08.2016 | GQ

We ate our way across the country to find the Best New Restaurants of 2016. These were the best things on the menu. As we spent months bouncing from restaurant to restaurant, eating non-stop for our annual Perfect Night Out piece, some things became clear. That we need to work out more. That the burger is rarely the way to go. And that sometimes a restaurant isn’t amazing, but there’s one thing on the menu that rises above the rest, and leaves you drooling whenever you think back on the first bite. For us, these were those dishes.