The new 2,700-square-foot location is expected to open in summer 2020 at 508 K Street NW. The Mt. Vernon Triangle site is part of the Waffle Shop — a reincarnated version of the iconic D.C. greasy spoon that once stood nearby.
Stellina comes from chef Matteo Venini and restaurateur Antonio Matarazzo, who previously worked for together at Lupo Verde’s group of full-service Italian restaurants. Their anticipated, red-and-white tiled eatery in Northeast debuted in April and has quickly landed a spot on the Eater 38 and Bib Gourmand list for 2020.
A patiently fermented pizza crust helps build its line of crispy Neo-Neapolitan pizzas, which include a unique play on cacio e pepe. There’s also scratch pastas like pacherri in meat ragu, and grab-and-go Italian staples like paper cups of fried seafood and vegetables. Panini topped with fried octopus and burrata or porchetta have become standouts. A green roof perched above its latest address will grow herbs and other ingredients for the menu.
In addition to opening a second Stellina, the owners are expanding their footprint in Union Market to include dessert by opening a traditional Italian pasticceria (pastry shop) called Annaré inside the food hall on Monday, December 16.
Along with Italian classics like a bomboloni, in flavors like Nutella, crema and fruit, the counter-service stall wedged between Rappahannock Oyster Bar and Peregrine Espresso will serve Italian wines, tray cakes, cannoli, rum babas, tiramisu, and other pastries from Lupo Verde alum Dayron Santamaria. Drinks will include Lavazza nitro cold-brewed coffee and Italian dessert wines. The counter-service bakery will operate daily starting at 8 a.m.
As an ode to the Waffle Shop’s original incarnation, Stellina’s second location will add diner dishes and weekend brunch. A replica of The Waffle Shop’s red-lettered neon sign will welcome guests inside. The 32-seat laminate bar, which will retain some of the original chrome stools from the diner, will be pouring cocktails made with local amaro from Don Ciccio & Figli.
Stellina will also import its fashionable look from Union Market, complete with images of Italian film stars and luminaries hand-painted by local artist and designer Molly Allen. The setup also includes an adjacent dining room for 45 and 35-seat patio.