05.18.2016 | Bon Appétit
When the hottest restaurants in town require an Olympian trial of line-waiting, Masseria is an oasis of “takes reservations” in the industrial Union Market neighborhood. You arrive on a sloped street lined with wholesale fashion importers. Then you step into Masseria’s gated courtyard and are transported to Puglia. Chef and owner Nicholas Stefanelli serves traditionally inspired, impeccably modern Italian dishes with a garnish of whimsy: Breads arrive in treasure chests and are ringed around porcelain octopus tentacles. A signature sparkling cocktail is served with a scoop of Belvedere-infused sorbet. And your receipt appears alongside a postcard of Sophia Loren. Come for the linguine with XO sauce, stay for the buttery branzino—or really, any of the seafood dishes. Ambitious stomachs should go for the five-course option with wine pairings, but with the surprises that pop up in between courses, you’ll be more than full.