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Amazon executives descended on the greater D.C. region at the end of February, touring sites in the District, Northern Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland, in search of the best place to plop down the company’s second headquarters. There was tremendous pressure on the city to sufficiently woo these suits in order to make a strong case to choose D.C.
The Post reported that Mayor Muriel Bowser dined with the Amazon executives on Wednesday, Feb. 28. But which spot did the mayor’s office deem worthy enough for dinner?
City Paper learned through a Freedom of Information Act request that Bowser entertained the Amazon executives at Masseria, the Italian restaurant tucked between warehouses near Union Market from Chef Nick Stefanelli. It has a Michelin star and a create-your-own tasting menu format featuring cuisine inspired from the Puglia region of Italy. Dinner for two at the restaurant can easily rise above $400, especially if wine is ordered to accompany the meal.
Masseria is one of the most transportive restaurants in the city. When you enter the door separating the restaurant with the industrial outside world, you encounter immediately a courtyard with fire pits that light well-heeled Washingtonians aglow while they sip cocktails.
The terrace and dining room are equally well appointed and eye-catching. Often diners will say, “This doesn’t feel like D.C.” Or, “This feels like it belongs in Southern California.”
Bringing the Amazon execs to Masseria makes sense because buildings around Union Market is one of the four sites Amazon is considering for HQ2 in the city. It’s part of the NoMa/Union Station option. The map below was published as part of the city’s “Obviously DC” bid. The other sites are Anacostia Riverfront, Hill East, and Shaw-Howard University.
This isn’t the first time that Bowser has fine-dined during a tech-related mission. Earlier in February, while visiting California on an economic development trip, she went to Nobu Malibu, according to the results of another FOIA request obtained by City Paper. Bowser’s office says “no government funds were expended” on that meal.
No word yet on what the mayor or Amazon officials ate at Masseria. But a spokeswoman for Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Developer Brian Kenner, who also joined the dinner with “several” of his and Bowser’s “immediate staff members,” says the administration did not spend D.C. government dollars on this meal either.
Stefanelli declined to comment.
Masseria, 1340 4th St. NE; (202) 608-1330; masseria-dc.com