Osteria Morini restaurateur Michael White is introducing a new concept for his New York-based Altamarea Group: Nicoletta Italian Kitchen, an 80-seat Italian-American eatery in Mt. Vernon Triangle that opens tonight.
While Morini draws from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, Nicoletta brings things back to Little Italy. The group describes the fare as “modern day red sauce.” The menu includes a whole section of homemade meatballs, antipasti—we have our eye on a veggie frito misto and clams casino—and mains like a crispy veal milanese with tonnato sauce, baked gnocchi, and chicken parmesan. The famed “White Label Burger” from NYC’s Ai Fiori also makes an appearance.
White opened a fast-casual Nicoletta Pizzeria in Navy Yard earlier this month, which is the fourth location of the Manhattan-based chain. The pies at the new full-service restaurant are similar in that they use a three-day fermentation process that’s meant to develop a rich flavor. Medium-thick crusts are crafted to be sturdy and hold a generous amount of toppings like the porchetta—a riff on a Philly-style roast pork sandwich with smoked pecorino, rapini, and Gordy’s pickled peppers. White says the style is a combination of his native Wisconsin (yes, Wisconsin pizza is a thing) and Italian.
Nicolleta is open for dinner, with lunch and brunch to follow. A coffee component for early risers will debut April 22.
Nicoletta Italian Kitchen. 901 Fourth St., NW; 202-697-6888