Food

Osteria Al Volo Opens Friday in Adams Morgan

The new Italian spot takes over the Pasta Mia space.
Osteria Al Volo, a brick and mortar spinoff of Union Market's Cucina Al Volo, opens Friday. Photograph via Cucina Al Volo Facebook

A new Italian neighborhood restaurant is opening in Adams Morgan. Osteria Al Volo, which takes over the longtime Pasta Mia space at 1790 Columbia Road, Northwest, officially debuts on Friday. The casual eatery is a brick-and-mortar incarnation of Cucina Al Volo, a Union Market vendor specializing in fresh pastas and sauces.

Co-owner Daniele Catalani, an alum of Roberto Donna’s Galileo, once operated Toscana Cafe near Union Station. He says that he wasn’t planning on jumping back into the restaurant business, and instead was looking for a wholesale kitchen when Pasta Mia closed and the space became available. Now he’ll run the 60-odd seat operation as well as the Union Market stand with nephew Matteo Catalani and business partner Rolando Frias, and plans to open for lunch and brunch in addition to dinner.

The menu, which will roll out slowly, centers around pastas. Diners can start with antipasti like salumi and house-made burrata, followed by items such as homemade ravioli stuffed with beef short ribs or swiss chard and ricotta. He’ll also serve pasta with duck ragu—a recipe from his small hometown outside Florence. Eventually the osteria will offer specials such as branzino, though the goal is keep entree prices around $20 and under.

Osteria Al Volo kicks off with a $49 ticketed wine dinner tonight (sold out) and Thursday before the grand opening on Friday. Daniele transformed the back bar at Pasta Mia into an event space, and plans to host regular cooking classes and wine dinners.

“All my friends say we’re crazy taking a bar out in Adams Morgan, but we’re pasta people,” says Daniele.

Osteria Al Volo. 1790 Columbia Rd., NW. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 11. 

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Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.