Nicholas Stefanelli, chef and owner of D.C.’s Michelin-starred Masseria, opens Officina at The Wharf, joining a group of D.C.’s most celebrated chefs, restaurateurs and artisans. Inspired by the marketplaces of Italy and located in the heart of the city’s newest neighborhood, Officina, which translates to “workshop,” is a three-story complex that provides Washingtonians with a one-of-a-kind culinary experience. The realization of Stefanelli’s career-long dream to bring the very best of Italian gastronomy together under one roof, Officina will do just that—with its highly curated marketplace, traditional trattoria, unique Amaro library and unmatched rooftop vistas. “Officina is a project I’ve been developing in my head since I first visited Italy almost 20 years ago” remarks Stefanelli “it brings together my heritage, most treasured destinations, favorite ingredients and culinary training – all in one place.”
Designed by Grupo7, the ground floor of Officina features a cafe, open from early until late, with an expansive coffee and espresso bar in the morning, transitioning into a diverse afternoon and evening menu of Italian street food favorites including Roman Pizzas, Arancini, cones of Fritto Misto, plus Sicilian Brioche and Granita. Throughout the day, paired alongside the menu of street foods, are classic Italian cocktails, wines and imported beers on draft.
Slightly sunken from the cafe, the Mercato, a curated Italian marketplace, occupies the remainder of Officina’s first floor with its collection of coveted ingredients and Italian products, hand-picked by Stefanelli and not typically available to consumers. Situated alongside the vast retail offerings are selections of freshly made pastas, available to prepare at home, plus D.C.’s premier butcher, or macelleria. Mercato also includes a wine store, assembled by Stefanelli and his team of award-winning beverage professionals.
Upstairs, the Trattoria, a 75-seat restaurant, encompasses wrapped banquets, an 18-person Amaro library and bar, plus additional seating on the outdoor terrace. With a simple, yet exhilarating menu, the Trattoria, features selections of Stefanelli’s acclaimed pastas, a rotation of seasonal vegetables and rustic Italian classics inspired by the in-house butcher such as Veal Cheek Parmigiano, Bombetta Pugliese, a pork shoulder stuffed with caciocavallo cheese and rosemary, and Bistecca Fiorentina. The wine list, overseen by Beverage Director John Filkins, incorporates over 500 labels from some of Italy’s most interesting wine regions and celebrated producers.
The Amaro Library or Salotto, is a study of Italian cocktail culture and the art of imbibing. The intimate 12 seat lounge and six stool bar showcases the versatility and evolution of Italian bitters, with nearly 100 vintage and contemporary Amari on offer. Amaro and other spirits are also incorporated in updated renditions of classic cocktails, including the original Negroni recipe, which showcases vintage Campari dyed using cochineal bugs.
With world class views of the Potomac, Officina’s rooftop offers an al fresco experience year-round. Inspired by the terraces of Rome, the Terrazza, features elevated bar bites, cheese and charcuterie boards, seasonal cocktails and an expansive, luxury Champagne menu. The third floor also includes a large private event space that can accommodate upwards of 60 guests.
To match Officina’s impressive food and beverage offerings, the property will also bring hands-on classes, immersive tastings, and versatile catering packages to D.C.
As The Wharf breathes new life into the Potomac waterfront, Stefanelli is delighted to share his culinary wonderland with Washingtonians.
Nicholas Stefanelli is the chef and owner of Masseria and Officina 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, Masseria.