Osteria Morini Opens Tonight at Navy Yard

By Rina Rapuano  |  November 19, 2013

Judging by all the construction, the Navy Yard neighborhood still has a long way to go. But tonight's opening of Osteria Morini - a New York import from world-renowned chef Michael White and Altamarea Group - is another important step toward having that area's potential realized.

While representatives say White will be very involved in the DC restaurant, they stress that local executive chef Matthew Adler has been with the restaurant group for a long time learning the ins and outs of the Osteria Morini brand and White's style of Emilia-Romagna cooking. 

The brand plans to keep about 75 percent of the menu consistent throughout the three Osteria Morini locations, giving local chefs the opportunity to create dishes that reflect their own styles and the preferences of diners. Finding a balance between innovation and the familiar will keep customers from feeling as if they are in a corporate, cookie-cutter restaurant, says Osteria Morini chef Bill Dorrler. 

Take a tour of the space here, then head down to check it out for yourself - along with an expertly crafted Negroni (301 Water St. SE; 202-484-0660).

  • Credit: Rina Rapuano

    Heading toward the front door, which faces the waterfront, passersby get an enticing preview of the glowing private dining room.

  • Credit: Rina Rapuano

    The front of the restaurant affords this stunning view of the Anacostia River. If you're lucky, you might catch a sunset, too.

  • Credit: Rina Rapuano

    The open kitchen features a fire-engine-red meat slicer and a vantage point for watching expert pasta-makers, who representatives say were trained by White.

  • Credit: Rina Rapuano

    This separate room can serve as overflow for the dining room or be closed off for private parties.

  • Credit: Rina Rapuano

    The wood-burning grill will be employed to cook branzino, lamb chops, steaks and a 12-ounce veal rib chop with pancetta cream - a dish special to the DC location. 

  • Other dishes that are specific to the DC location include agnolotti pasta filled with Taleggio and potato topped with short-rib ragu and an antipasto of crispy pig-head terrine with a farm egg and Meyer lemon.