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Are You Wealthy and Enjoy Italian Food? Have I Got a Dinner for You!!

by Prince Of Petworth September 14, 2016 at 11:40 am 14 Comments

1340 4th Street NE courtesy Masseria

Ed. Note: I’m gonna share this comment from Irving Streete left after the champagne lounge post because it is amazing.

“Sometimes I feel as though I’m living in (or ubering towards) Wiemar Germany or one of Gatsby’s parties — a glorious burst of self-conscious decadence before the whole house of cards collapses. I guess there’s nothing to do except put my assets into overseas gold, decide between Beluga and Ossetra, and see what vintages of Grand Dame they have on the fizz list. Maybe buy a cake to leave out for the peasants on the way home.”

Ed. Note too: Don’t get me wrong, if I had $375 or really $750 floating around, I’d be here in a heartbeat. Damn you daycare for two…

From a press release:

“Only 30 seats are available for this exclusive al fresco dinner set beneath Masseria’s enchanting pergola. The dinner is $375 per person, all-inclusive, and will begin at 7PM. Come raise a glass to a good harvest!

The Italian wine harvest gets underway in early autumn, and to celebrate this event that is so central to Italian gastronomy, Chef Nicholas Stefanelli is establishing an annual Harvest Dinner at Masseria, that will showcase a different Italian winemaker each year. The inaugural Harvest Dinner will take place Tuesday, October 4, 2016 in partnership with the venerable Antinori Estate.

continues after the jump including a look at the menu.

For six centuries and 26 generations, the Antinori family has made wines on their ancestral lands in Tuscany and Umbria. Renowned for its classic Chiantis and credited with creating the first Super Tuscans on the market, the Estate prides itself on honoring its heritage while taking an innovative approach to growing and producing throughout Italy. Masseria is pleased to welcome to the dinner Antinori’s U.S. Commercial Director and Brand Ambassador, the Florence-born Niccolo Maltinti.

Stefanelli’s menu will reflect the start of Italy’s white truffle and game season with autumnal ingredients in abundance. Each of the five courses paired with an Antinori wine marries the constant philosophy of Stefanelli, “A menu that reflects a firm expression in our passion for viticulture and artisanal cuisine.”

Fall Vegetable Salad
Paired with: Guado al Tasso, Vermentino, Italy, Tuscany, 2014

Southern Italian Fish Stew
Paired with: Cervaro della Sala, Chardonnay, Italy, Umbria, 2006

Cavatelli, Scamorza, White Truffle, Rosemary
Paired with: Tiganello, Sangiovese blend, Italy, Tuscany, 2006

Roasted Pork in the Style of the Puglian Butcher, Chickpeas, Mushrooms
Paired with a side-by-side comparison of two vintages of Solaia!
Solaia, Cabernet blend, Italy, Tuscany, 2006 and 2012

Biscotti Bavarese, Saba, Figs, Spice-Candied Almonds
Paired with: Vin Santo, Antinori, Italy, Tuscany, 2011″

  • eggs

    I’m not familiar with this wine, but is this REALLY worth $375? The food doesn’t sound worth it at all. It sounds delicious don’t get me wrong, just not $375 worth of delicious. Even if the glasses of wine are $40/glass, that’s $200, so this is still a $175 meal? Still doesn’t sound worth it to me. Someone explain.

    • AnonV2

      Some of the wines are that pricey. I don’t know all of them, but off the top of my head those Solaia vintages are probably $250+ retail, so you’d likely see them on restaurant wine lists for $400+. I’m assuming tax and tip are included in that total as well (at least I’d hope so!)

      • It says all-inclusive, so that would be my guess as well.

      • eggs


  • I used to sell Antinori wines, yes, they are that good. Almost all of these bottles would never be served by the glass otherwise, so there’s also the fact that you get to taste multiple wines you would traditionally have to order entire bottles in order to try. This will pretty much coincide with the fall release of DC’s first ever Michelin guide too, where Masseria is all but guaranteed a star, if not 2. And all the food will be topped with white truffles, so there’s that. I’m not saying it’s not extravagant, but in the realm of “is this opulence worth it” (compared to the recent furor over Shaw Bijou’s pricing scheme for an unproven chef), I would say yes, as far as DC standards go. That’s obviously assuming you give two $#!&’s about top tier food and wine.

    • eggs

      Thanks for the info on the wines – I figured the pricing had to be coming from that but did not realize just how much.

  • E

    The wine better be worth it, because the food at Masseria is about as bland as it gets.

    • OP Anon

      Our meal was unremarkable. Generically nice/spend’y, but it felt like I could have been anywhere. Lovely design and setting, though it was way too hot to properly enjoy the patio. I’m glad we ate inside. There was only one dish – a salad! – that we all agreed was worth re-ordering.
      Bad Saint was a much better meal, in spite of the stupid line.

  • Kara

    The wine was great, but the food here left SO MUCH to be desired. Really disappointing.

  • Bloomy

    I don’t understand all these bad (food) reviews… While really very spendy, we have almost loved every dish we’ve ordered each (albeit only 3 total) time we’ve eaten here.

  • James W.

    The DC trend seems to be ever-increasing fixed price menus for a ridiculous number of courses. I used to think Pineapple and Pearls was extravagant at $250 a pop. Masseria, not to be outdone, ups the ante. Pretty soon you’ll need to trade in your first-born on your way in the door.

  • victoria

    Menu sounds very ordinary, truffles or not. I’d rather go to Obelisk – $75.00 for a 5-course meal, menu changing daily. They also offer $55.00 wine parings.

  • textdoc

    That is a brilliant comment from Irving Street. I’m glad PoP reproduced it, because I missed the original posting.

  • scooter

    i mean yes it’s expensive, but it’s really not overpriced. if masseria is worth at least a star, this is probably less than the price point for most comparable tasting menus + wine pairings at one and two-star restaurants. add on top of that (apparently) two pours of good solaia vintages — each of those bottles retails for $225-300 — and some other great wines like the ’06 tignanello, and i’d say that’s a pretty damn good value.

    wish i could afford it!


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