Washington, D.C.-based restaurateur Antonio Matarazzo and Chef Matteo Venini announce a February 12 opening for the Arlington, Va. location of Stellina Pizzeria and Market. Located at 2800 S. Randolph Street in the Village at Shirlington — owned and operated by Federal Realty Investment Trust — the 2,000-square-foot space will house the fast-casual pizza shop, as well as a retail section of Italian pantry goods, and a deli counter selling fresh pastas, sauces, and pizza dough. The restaurant will open for outdoor dining only on a heated, 20-seat patio. Stellina’s flagship opened in April 2019 at 399 Morse Street NE in the Union Market District, and another D.C. location is set to open this spring at 508 K Street NW.

“With our expansion into Northern Virginia, we want to bring the Stellina experience to our guests in the region, while also being mindful of their specific needs and preferences,” says Matarazzo. “Knowing the South Arlington community as a resident here with my family, I thought that a retail element for prepared foods and ingredients to cook at home would be a nice addition to our curbside pick-up, delivery, and outdoor dining offerings. As Stellina continues to grow across the DMV, we’ll keep an eye toward adapting the concept and menu to enhance and best serve the neighborhoods we join.”

Stellina’s Shirlington menu is similar to its Union Market counterpart, with a focus on neo-Neapolitan pizzas, Italian street food, pizza dough panini, homemade pastas, and classic Italian desserts. Chef Venini has solidified a signature pizza style that begins with a crispy, yet light and slightly chewy, crust, and is completed with toppings that range from the classic Margherita to the inventive Cacio e Pepe and other seasonally driven combinations. This creativity also extends to Stellina’s panini, which sandwich fillings like fried octopus, burrata, Calabrian pepper, and broccoli rabe or braised short rib, fontina, and potato croquette between slices of oven-baked pizza dough.

New to the Stellina experience will be a deli counter offering fresh pastas by the pound, homemade sauces, pizza dough, cured meats, cheeses, olives, and other antipasti, as well as desserts like panna cotta and tiramisu. There will also be a small market area stocked with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and dried pasta, along with a freezer case of ready-to-cook lasagne and pizza.

Also different from its D.C. sibling is the absence of a bar. Instead, cocktails will be batched and bottled, then served tableside with glassware and custom ice. The classic Negroni, for example, will be poured over ice containing an orange peel, which will flavor the drink as it melts. Italian wines and beers, as well as a coffee program, will also be featured beverage offerings.

The glass-fronted restaurant, designed by Molly Allen of Allen Studios, will seat up to 20 guests on a heated patio, outfitted with umbrellas for additional comfort. Stellina will also have 75 seats inside when indoor dining resumes. Focal points of the space include Ischia-style tiles from the Amalfi Coast, as well as a mural by local artists No Kings Collective beloved Italian actor Totò on one wall and the iconic Sophia Loren on another.

Industry News, NextGen Casual