More and more restaurants are opening—and reopening—in downtown DC after a long period of pandemic inactivity. The latest: Officina by chef Nicholas Stefanelli, an airy all-day Italian cafe that debuts today at 1615 L Street, Northwest. Stefanelli also operates Michelin-starred Italian restaurant Masseria near Union Market as well as his flagship Officina, a three-story Italian emporium, at the Wharf. He’s also currently popping up in Georgetown with another Officina cafe/market.
This third Officina was designed with a downtown office, local, and tourist crowd in mind. Breakfast, which will begin after Labor Day, stars espresso drinks, Teaism teas, and fresh-baked Italian pastries. Diners can drop by for grab-and-go items at lunch like panini, Roman-style square pizza, and homemade gelato. The all-day lunch/dinner menu also boasts dishes worth lingering over, like homemade sweet-corn ravioli; steak and panzanella salad; or head-on shrimp with escarole, broccolini, and chickpeas. The bar specializes in Italian cocktails, so you’ll find negronis and vodka-spiked Sicilian lemonade, as well as Italian wines and beers, which you can match with cheese and salumi boards.
Officina is Stefanelli’s first downtown DC concept, but it won’t be his last. Philotimo, a splashy Greek restaurant that plays to his Mediterranean heritage, is slated to open this fall after a long pandemic delay.
Officina Downtown. 1615 L St., NW.