DC Eats: Masseria

Foie gras cannoli with truffle and pistachio
Foie gras cannoli with truffle and pistachio

Masseria in DC was one of the most exciting dining experiences I’ve had lately. Find out why.

My husband and I pulled up to Masseria on a recent Thursday night for his Birthday dinner. Nothing special from the outside, the restaurant is located in a warehouse part of town. Nearby buildings had huge steel loading dock doors covered in graffiti. Looks are deceiving, guys!

Outside the restaurant were about 8 secret service men and they patted us down before we went in.

“Can you tell us who is inside?” I asked one of them.

“Sorry, I can’t tell you,” he replied.

We’ve been in other restaurants before here in DC with secret service and lots of times you wouldn’t recognize the person they’re protecting, often the family member of an important person.

But this time seemed different. There were just so many secret service in front.

The hostess sat us in the busy restaurant and when I looked to the table to my left, that’s when I saw Michelle Obama. She was dining with 3 other women right next to us.

It was pretty exciting, and while the whole restaurant tried to act nonchalant about it, every person in the room was just so curious about what was going on over at their table. What is she eating? What is she wearing? What are they talking about?

A little 10 year girl eating at a table nearby with her family, stared at her the whole time! People tried to take secret pictures with cell phones!

And when their party got up to leave, everything seemed to stop as she hugged and kissed her friends goodbye. (She’s really tall and striking, guys! How could we not pay attention?!)

In any case, after our excitement died down, our meal turned out to be so delicious and one of the most memorable ones I’ve had lately. Masseria serves 3,4, and 5 course Italian inspired meals. We got the 4 course meal.

Here’s a glimpse of our dinner. Hope you enjoy!

While I do enjoy wine generally, at places like this I prefer to order a special cocktail instead. They’re usually inventive and delicious!

gelato-prosecco-masseria

I ordered an apricot chamomile gelato with prosecco poured over it. The bubbly melted the gelato a little bit and gave the drink a fruity flavor. I ended up alternating between sipping from the glass and using the spoon to eat the gelato. Overall, a winner out the gate!

smoky-drink-masseria

My husband ordered this smoky drink of cognac, bitters, and walnut infused glycerin smoke. The presentation was so striking when it came out… this picture was taken after the smoke dissipated a bit.

Next up, bread platter.

bread-plate-masseria

As a carb lover, I was in heaven. It featured 4 different things including foccacia, cod fritters, grissini, and zeppoli with cheese.

For appetizers, my husband got the lobster with tripe.

lobster-tripe-masseriaveal-tartar-masseria

I ordered veal tartar. Both were tasty and beautiful to look at.

The next course was a special add-on since it was my husband’s birthday. He wanted to try this little present, a foie gras stuffed cannoli lined with truffle and pistachios. Amazing!

This was the photo at the top, but it was so good, it deserves a close up!

special-cannoli-masseria

The next course was pasta, and I fell in love hard with this lasagna. The white sauce on the side is the most delectable creamy cheese you’ve ever tasted (I didn’t catch the name!)

lasagna-masseria

Husband ordered the linguine with XO sauce and crunchy bread crumbs on top.

xopasta-masseria

To soak up the pasta sauce, they served semolina bread in this cute little wooden box.semolina-bread-masseria

In the States, Italian food is pretty typical, but these were really different tasting dishes for us. I’ve never had lasagna which came with a white cheese next to it, and the linguine was wonderfully seafood salty tasting.

For our main courses, I got the poached halibut, which was so fresh. It was served with the cutest little baby octopus on the side (he was so cute I didn’t want to eat him. Just kidding!), shredded fennel, squid ink sauce, topped with fresh mint, dill, and basil.

Isn’t the presentation beautiful?

halibut-masseria

Being a carnivore, the husband ordered the beef with salsa verde, which he enjoyed immensely. I can’t get over how green the sauce is.

steak-masseria

Before our dessert, they brought us a tiny chili pepper sorbet with passion fruit as a palate cleanser. A little spicy and sweet at the same time.

sorbet-masseria

Finally, the dessert!

Everything we had was delicious up to this point, but for me, this dessert was the hit of the night.

Normally a chocolate lover, I decided to try this crostata de marmelata and I was so glad I did. I actually am now obsessed with how this tasted. It had the freshest summer berries mixed with a cinnamon pastry dough and milk flavored ice cream on top. berry-crostata-masseria

This was followed by a dish of little sweet bites.

little-dessert-masseria

While this dinner was not cheap, it was totally worth it. In fact, I feel it’s worth not eating out a cheaper places in order to save up for the experience again.

It occurred to me afterwards that eating somewhere unique like this creates the same sensation as travel. You get to discover something different, new flavor profiles, and new ways of eating things (I never knew you could pour prosecco over gelato and call it a drink, but how fun for a warm afternoon on the patio with friends?)

How do you feel about fine dining? Do you think it’s worth it?

28 thoughts on “DC Eats: Masseria

  1. Amy Arnold

    That is so cool that you got to dine with the first lady! It makes total sense, but I never thought about everyone having to get patted down before going inside. That food looks amazing! Perfect place for a birthday dinner.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    Like

  2. How cool is that, that you sat amongst The First Lady!? How could anyone not be curious, she’s The First Lady!!! The fact that she was there itself is a testament to the quality of the food, so I’m certain you enjoyed yourself, the food looked wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you have a great start to your week, lovely!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    Like

  3. I love fine dining but it’s not the kind of cuisine that I (would like to) eat on a regular basis. Once in a while is fine. Oh, it must have been so exciting to be at the same restaurant as the First Lady. I would have been starstruck for sure. Well, if the restaurant was good enough for you and for her, then it must be top!

    LUXESSED

    Like

  4. kavyaede

    Such a great post! Everything looks so yummy! It’s amazing you got to see Michelle Obama! Lucky you! Have a great day, beautiful! 🙂

    Like

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