Stellina Pizzeria Credit: Darrow Montgomery

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Stellina Pizzeria near Union Market was such a hit out of the gate with its pizza dough paninis and and cacio & pepe pies that the founders are opening a second location in Mount Vernon Triangle next year. Restaurateur Antonio Matarazzo and Chef Matteo Venini, who first met working at Lupo Verde, are planning a Summer 2020 debut at 508 K St. NW. 

In addition to what Venini calls “Neo-Neapolitan” pizzas, the fine-casual restaurant also serves pasta, cones of fried snacks, salads, and a full menu of beer, wine, and cocktails. 

The Mount Vernon Triangle Stellina will have a nostalgic look thanks to a promise the building owner made more than a decade ago. According to the Post, Douglas Development vowed to recreate the look of The Waffle Shop at a new downtown address after the original location was torn down on 10th Street NW.

Look for a replica of The Waffle Shop’s red-lettered neon sign on the facade of the building. And, note the serpentine bar with 24 chrome bar stools, several of which were salvaged from the original diner. In addition to bar seating, the 2,700-square-foot restaurant will have a 45-seat dining room. The menu isn’t expected to veer far from the original, with the exception of brunch when Venini will likely serve a savory waffle. 

Matarazzo and Venini have more up their sleeves. On Dec. 16 they’ll launch an Italian dessert shop inside Union Market between Rappahannock Oyster Bar and Peregrine Espresso. The bakery’s name, Annaré, pays tribute to Matarazzo’s mother and grandmother. “It’s from Anna—my mother and my grandmother’s name,” he explains. “When you know someone from your neighborhood who’s cute and sweet, that’s what you call them.” 

The owners tapped pastry chef Dayron Santamaria to run the year-long pop-up that the team hopes will grow into a standalone concept in the future. It will specialize in cannoli, rum babas, tiramisu, mille-feuille, and other Italian sweets. “We’re going to do mini pastries,” Matarazzo says. “In Italy, there’s the tradition on Saturdays and Sundays that you go to someone’s house and bring sweets with you. Usually trays of mixed of little desserts. We’re going to do that.” 

There will also be treats you’ll want to eat while walking around the market, including a full line-up of bomboloni. One version of the Italian doughnut orbs will be filled with molten tiramisu. “What we do is create tiramisu ball and then we have the dough,” Matarazzo says. “We wrap it and fry them. Inside they melt.”

At first Annaré will serve hot Cameo chocolate and Lavazza nitro cold-brewed coffee. Later on, they’ll introduce Italian dessert wines like Moscato, Vin Santo, and Passito.

Customers will also be able to place orders for full-size cakes via an online ordering system. 

Annaré will be open Sundays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

“D.C. is a French bakery town,” Matarazzo says. “Wherever you go, it’s French. Italian pastries are amazing. Of course people know cannoli, but there’s a lot more.” 

Annaré, 1309 5th St. NE; stellinapizzeria.com/annare