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Nick Stefanelli says, “You get to taste a piece of history,” with his collection of exceptional bottles at Masseria in Northeast


Drink With Nick

By Nevin Martell

Photography by Greg Powers


Chef Nick Stefanelli offers decidedly rare sips—vintage amari—at Masseria this fall.

Chef Nick Stefanelli, the brilliant mind behind Masseria, the chic tasting-menu restaurant in Northeast, has a collection of old-fashioned bottles his patrons absolutely must try. The stash represents more than two-dozen antiquated amari, including a trio from the 1950s: Gentile’s Rabarbaro, Cynar of Rome and Amaro Felsina of Bologna. (The spirits bear no vintages, so ages are roughly approximated by the label designs and tax stamps.) Nearly impossible to find, these classic digestivos have been painstakingly hunted down at auctions and estate sales. Stefanelli recommends trying an old-school amaro alongside its contemporary to compare the two. “You see what age does and how it changes a spirit,” he says. “And you get to taste a piece of history.” This liquid library will expand when the chef opens his still-to-be-named three-story market-trattoria at The Wharf next spring, where he plans to devote an entire bar to amari. 1340 Fourth St. NE, 202.608.1330