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Cafe Pizzaiolo in Shirlington to Be Replaced by ‘Neo-Neapolitan’ Pizzeria

A restaurateur and chef who both hail from Italy are planning to open a new pizzeria in Shirlington.

Antonio Matarazzo and Chef Matteo Venini will be opening an Arlington outpost of their “modern, fast-casual pizza concept, Stellina Pizzeria,” which offers a “modern interpretation of the classic pizza counter,” according to an announcement this morning.

It is expected to open by the end of the year in the now-former Cafe Pizzaiolo space at 2800 S. Randolph Street.

“Stellina will open its first Northern Virginia location later this year in the Shirlington neighborhood,” a spokeswoman said. “The menu will offer Stellina’s signature style of neo-Neapolitan pizzas, along with handmade pastas, panini, and other Italian street food. A new feature will be a deli-style counter serving fresh pasta by the pound, homemade sauces, and DIY pizza and pasta kits for guests to recreate Stellina dishes at home.”

Shirlington will be an easy commute for Matarazzo, who lives in South Arlington.

Stellina will offer takeout and delivery, in addition a covered and heated outdoor patio with seating for 20, and limited indoor seating in a 48-seat dining room. The restaurant, which is also opening a new D.C. location next year, has received accolades including a 2020 Michelin Bib Gourmand designation, and inclusion in Washingtonian’s 100 Best Restaurants list and a Washington Post list of the 10 best pizzas in D.C.

More from a press release, below.

Today, Washington, D.C.-based restaurateur Antonio Matarazzo and Chef Matteo Venini announce that their modern, fast-casual pizza concept, Stellina Pizzeria, will add an Arlington, Va. location to its roster later this year. 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 offer a small dining room, bar, and 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 next year at 508 K Street NW.

“While Stellina’s second D.C. location is in the works, we’re jumping at the chance to continue expanding across the region, which has been our goal from day one,” said Matarazzo. “Bringing our modern interpretation of the classic pizza counter to the Shirlington neighborhood is a natural next step. My family and I live in South Arlington, and this new location lets us better serve our Northern Virginia guests with outdoor dining, curbside pick-up, and delivery. We’ll also enhance the many ways to experience Stellina at home with a deli counter offering fresh pastas by the pound, homemade sauces, and DIY pizza kits.”

Chef Venini will serve a menu in Shirlington similar to Stellina’s Union Market sibling. Here, he’ll craft neo-Neapolitan pizzas, a signature style that upends purist pizza traditions with creative toppings and a unique approach to dough, as well as street food inspired by the southern coast of Italy, sandwiches served on pizza dough, handmade pastas, and salads. The new location will also offer a deli-style counter featuring homemade pastas, sauces, pizza dough, and toppings to recreate signature Stellina dishes at home. Also like its predecessor, the beverage program will center on Italian wines, beers, and cocktails, all available to enjoy at the restaurant, as well as for pick-up and delivery.

“As people continue to crave comfort and familiarity, The Village at Shirlington has remained a go-to dining destination. The addition of Stellina to the ever-popular restaurant mix here in the Village is a welcome addition that will be celebrated by the community,” Stuart Biel, Senior Vice President of Federal

The glass-fronted restaurant will offer limited indoor seating in its 48-seat dining room, as well as outdoor dining on a covered and heated patio seating up to 20. Molly Allen of Allen Studios will lead the build-out and design of the space. Local artists No Kings Collective will contribute a mural featuring beloved Italian actor Totò along with other Italian icons, similar to the mural at the original Stellina.

About Stellina Pizzeria

Stellina Pizzeria, from owners Antonio Matarazzo and Chef Matteo Venini, modernizes the classic pizza counter with a menu that nods to the street food of the southern Italian coast. Since opening in 2019, the restaurant has been recognized as a 2020 Michelin Bib Gourmand recipient, included on The Washington Post’s list of the 10 best pizzas in D.C. for its cacio e pepe pizza, and featured on Washingtonian’s 100 Best Restaurants list.

About Antonio Matarazzo

Antonio Matarazzo co-owns Stellina Pizzeria. Originally from Avellino, Italy, Matarazzo turned to his upbringing on the southern Italian coast to develop Stellina’s fine-casual concept that modernizes the traditional Italian pizzeria with style and creativity. He previously served as managing partner of the upscale Italian trio Lupo Verde, Lupo Verde Osteria and Lupo Marino, and was instrumental in conceiving and growing the brand from its flagship location on 14th Street NW to the Palisades and most recently to District Wharf Matarazzo began his hospitality career stateside in 2006 as a manager of the sophisticated Peppercorn Duck Club at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City, Mo. He earned his Bachelor of Science in the Economy of Tourism & Events at the University of Perugia while also working as the general manager of La Tana dell’Orso Wine Bar from 2002-2006.

About Matteo Venini

Matteo Venini is the executive chef and co-owner of Stellina Pizzeria. Prior to opening the fine-casual Italian street food and pizza concept, Venini worked as the corporate chef of high-end Italian properties Lupo Verde, Lupo Verde Osteria and Lupo Marino, a position he held since 2016. The Lake Como, Italy native previously helmed the kitchen at venerable power-dining fixture Ristorante Tosca as executive chef, and additionally spent eight years as executive chef of sibling restaurant Posto. Venini has now been cooking in the U.S. for more than a decade.

Photos by Rey Lopez, courtesy Stellina

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