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And while the new Morini shares the same meat program with its predecessors (renowned wholesaler Pat LaFrieda supplies White with the 40-day dry-aged steaks served across his empire), D.C. boasts one major departure: a flywheel grill.
“They’re illegal in New York. So all our chefs up there are so jealous,” a Morini spokeswoman said of the sibling rivalry the fiery new kitchen amenity has sparked. White said staff is looking forward to searing various proteins over a combination of lump charcoal and seasoned oak.
As executive chef, Matt Adler gets first crack at the heavy-duty fire pit. A veteran of the Altamarea Group, Adler relocated to Alexandria, Va., to take command of the new D.C. outpost. (His wife, Kim, was recently brought on as a pastry chef by the Tryst-led group of local restaurants.)
Pastry chef Alexander Levin, opening director of operations Frank Botta (staying on until February), assistant general manager Erich Stumpe (who will move up when Botta leaves) and beverage director Jochem Zijp will round out Morini’s D.C. contingent.
And it sounds like the group’s got plenty of work ahead of it. Adler said dinner-only service will continue for two weeks; regular lunch service is expected to start Monday, Dec. 2.
White is also planning on adding his pizzeria concept, Nicoletta, to D.C. come summer. A restaurant spokeswoman said a gelateria is also under consideration.
Osteria Morini: 301 Water St. SE; osteriamorini.com, 202-484-0660