Photo of Osteria Al Volo by Darrow Montgomery
Photo of Osteria Al Volo by Darrow Montgomery

The duo behind Cucina Al Volo in Union Market and Osteria Al Volo in Adams Morgan are in expansion mode. Matteo and Daniele Catalani are already poised to take over the Ripple space in Cleveland Park with Cucina Al Volo Trattoria and Bar.

But they also hope to open Cucina Al Volo Pizzeria at 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in the former Black Iron Pizza space after Thanksgiving.

“We wanted to take the Union Market concept downtown,” Daniele says. “We’re very happy doing pasta and we’ve had a great response, but I think the concept wouldn’t survive with these land sharks and their [high] rents.” So, they thought, what goes well with pasta? Pizza. 

Cucina Al Volo Pizzeria will serve Roman-style “al taglio” pizza. It’s sold in Italy in giant squares by the pound and is most similar to thick, Sicilian-style pie.

“The dough is a 96-hour proof so it’s fermented,” Daniele says. Because the yeast eats the gluten, the pizza crust is very light and, according to Daniele, easy to digest. “You can have a pound of it and not really feel it.” They’re going to have fun with the flavors and will also serve basics like Margherita with burrata cheese. 

The pizzeria will be open daily for breakfast serving bombolone and zeppole, as well as lunch and dinner. He hopes the restaurant will open in about two weeks, but says the city is behind on licensing because of large number of restaurants opening at the same time at The Wharf.

The Cleveland Park project should also open soon. “It will be a more casual restaurant like Adams Morgan, but we’re going to add a bar,” Daniele explains. “We’re adding a pasta shop right in front so people can see us making pasta.” Customers will be able to pick up raw pasta to make at home or dine-in. 

Cucina Al Volo Pizzera, 1299 Pennsylvania Ave. NW