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.
Masseria is an urban oasis amid the weathered wholesale produce, meat shops, and delivery trucks that fringe Union Market. The grit and rawness of the surrounding streets are reminiscent of the Meatpacking District in NYC in the 90s. It was that risqué cachet that inspired Stefanelli to create something exclusive and intimate out of a neighborhood that becomes barren at nightfall. Entering through the high beam walls, you feel transported to a coastal Italian oasis.
Explore the videos below for an inside look at Masseria’s bread service that’s served alongside the prix-fixe tasting menu, and one of the liquid inspirations that’s part of Masseria’s Beverage Program.