Birthday Dinner at Masseria


Masseria in DC was one of the most exciting dining experiences we’re had lately. 

Sean and I pulled up to Masseria in May 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. 

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!


I ordered an apricot chamomile gelato with prosecco poured over it. The prosecco 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. 


Sean 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.


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

For appetizers, Sean got the lobster with tripe.



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

The next course was a special add-on since it was Sean’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!


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!)

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


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

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 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.

Being a carnivore, Sean ordered the beef with salsa verde. I can’t get over how green the sauce is.


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.


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.

This was followed by a dish of little sweet bites.


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


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