Picture: Cavatelli with Rabbit Ragu at Officina
Last Updated: 7/5/2021
Before Times Review:
There is an audaciousness to Chef Nick Stefanelli, the man behind Officina. He created from whole-cloth an Italian retreat in the parking lot of Union Market with Masseria, garnering a Michelin star. His second effort was to take on the fancy digs of the Wharf development and up the ante with three floors of activity. The first floor is a café and shop. The café winds down in the evening as the action shifts to the second-floor restaurant (Trattoria) and the third floor plein air bar (tented and heated in winter). There is also an Amaro-focused bar on the second floor. That is a lot to keep running at a high level, and sometimes the kitchen or floor staff can fall behind. Some noted that it has the overly-ambitious nature of Range (which was ultimately fatal), but with much better views. The cooking does not attempt to replicate the refinement of Masseria. It is more straightforward, but still very good. Can Stefanelli sustain quality and focus? That is the test. And he is adding to his degree of difficulty with a new Greek spot downtown.
(Updated: June 2019)
2.5 Tom (Washington Post): 2.5 Stars. In this case, I agree with Tom.
Washingtonian: Was ambivalent given the price point.
Rick: Worries it is the next Range.