It may be mid-fall, but Osteria Morini is taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to give patrons a sneak peek of its new waterfront project: Morini Piccolo. The Italian snack stand is located on a dock beneath the Navy Yard restaurant and will pop-up on Friday and Saturday before officially opening next year.
When New York-based Morini restaurateur Michael White became one of the first to open at the Capitol Riverfront in 2013, he had other plans for the small kiosk overlooking the Anacostia River: a branch of Nicoletta Pizzeria. The only problem? The vents (or lack of them). Since then, the space has sat empty. Now Morini chef Ben Pflaumer and his team have come up with a creative way to utilize the dockside space.
When Piccolo officially opens, the 24-seat area will be outfitted with orange umbrellas and tables to give the feel of an Italian seaside retreat. A counter-order cafe menu will include dishes like fried gnocchi served savory with prosciutto and cheese or sweetened with powdered sugar and chocolate sauce for dunking. Other bites will include salads, saffron arancini, and fresh-baked focaccia paninis. The kitchen will also make its own gelato and cookies for decadent ice cream sandwiches.
The pop-up will only include food (see a menu below), but the snack stand will eventually serve draft wines from Emilia Romagna, beers, and frozen cocktails. We can happily imagine a summer spent alternating between Whaley’s rosé garden above and Morini’s frozen negroni garden below.
The pop-up will run Friday from 4 PM to 9 PM and Saturday from noon to 9 PM.
Morini Piccolo. 301 Water St., SE.
Morini Piccolo Pop-Up Menu:
Delicata squash – whipped ricotta, pistachios, pomegranate, brown butter $8
Rucola- baby arugula, hazelnuts, sundried sour cherries, balsamic vinaigrette $8
Battilardo- prosciutto di parma, soppresata salame, mostarda, gnocco fritto $13
Formaggio- parmigiana gelato, robiola di bosina, red onion jam, crostini $13
Arancini – crispy saffron risotto balls, parmigiana
FRESH-BAKED FOCACCIA PANINI
Proscuitto di Parma- pecorino Toscana, prosciutto, arugula, pickled red onion
Porchetta- slow roasted suckling pig, fennel sausage, roasted garlic aioli, broccoli rabe
Gelato Sandwiches- 1 for $2 or a trio for $6
Tiramisu – $6
Gnoccho Fritto- crispy donuts, powdered sugar, Nutella $6