New York chef Michael White opens his new Italian restaurant Osteria Morini, which is centered around pasta and grilled meats, along the Capitol Riverfront tomorrow. The restaurant takes inspiration from the Emilia-Romagna region in central Italy.
Matthew Adler, who’s worked at nearly all of White’s restaurants, is the executive chef of the D.C. location. The majority of the menu is the same as Osteria Morini’s locations in SoHo neighborhood of New York and in New Jersey, although Adler will offer a few things unique to D.C. Some of the signature pastas include cappalletti—”little hats”—with truffled ricotta, melted butter, and prosciutto; green and yellow gramigna—curlicue pasta whose name means “little weeds”—with a pork sausage ragu; tagliatelle with a three-meat ragu; and stracci, wide ribbon pasta with braised wild mushrooms and rosemary oil. The opening menu includes a total of 10 pasta dishes, ranging from $17 to $20. Adler says he will continue to add more pastas.
Entrees, including steaks, pork chops, and fish, center around a wood-burning grill on full display from a window looking into the kitchen. Prices range from $26 (grilled cornish hen) to $43 (12 oz. veal rib chop or 14. oz. dry-aged ribeye with bone marrow sugo). There are also boards with cured meats and cheeses, crostini, salads, and antipasti like tomato-braised baby octopus and crispy pig head terrine. (See the full menu below.)
There will also be a happy hour at the bar with drink and food specials, including arancini, skewered meats and vegetables, and crispy ravioli. The bar features two beers and two wines on tap. The wine list also focuses around the same region as the food, and cocktails will incorporate Italian spirits and amaros plus infusions.
Osteria Morini will just be open for dinner for now, but lunch and brunch are coming soon. Also stay tuned for a patio overlooking the waterfront next spring.
Osteria Morini, 301 Water St. SE; osteriamorini.com/washington-dc/index.php
Photos by Jessica Sidman