100 Very Best Restaurants: #10 – Masseria

Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Walk through the tall metal gate at Nick Stefanelli’s Union Market restaurant and the industrial-wholesale strip gives way to a California-esque courtyard and a concrete-clad open kitchen. The menu pulls you to Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot, where the chef has roots. Unlike other tasting-menu destinations, this one offers the flexibility to pick and choose dishes from different categories. Want to make a meal of just pastas? Linguine with XO sauce and cappelletti stuffed with squash and ricotta make it a temptation. Then again, you wouldn’t want to miss the beef tripe braised in a Sicilian fish stew with lobster—a highbrow/lowbrow duo of remarkably similar textures. Up for a nightcap? Masseria boasts the city’s largest collections of vintage amaros. Very expensive.
Also great: Foie gras cannoli; veal tartare; matsutake-mushroom risotto; duck with spiced sauce; lamb with chickpeas; chocolate torta.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

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.

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.