Ari Gejdenson is getting ready to open Ghibellina, a Tuscan trattoria and gastro pub. After almost a year of work on the restaurant space, it will soon be ready at 1610 14th Street. The place has gone through a long process of remodeling and restoration to bring back something special. The last touches seem to be going on right now as the front sign went up this week.
Gejdenson is the owner of AquaAl2 as well as Ghibellina, and he hopes to open the doors at the beginning of May. We spoke to Gejdenson to get an update on the progress.
The first level of Ghibellina, where the trattoria and pizzeria are located, will be open at the beginning of May. There’s still with no exact date, but you can watch Gejdenson helping with the wood details of the place .
The restaurant will have a seating capacity for a little under a 100 customers. Wood and stone create a warm space inside as the light from the windows facing 14th Street floods the room. Gejdenson is putting his effort on getting this first stage of Ghibellina ready before finishing the second level and basement.
Tuscan Trattoria Food
Ghibellina will feature Tuscan trattoria food — Ribollita and Bisteca a la Florentina are some of the dishes to be served, along with pizza. Jonathan Copeland will be the executive chef, coming from Palena in Cleveland Park and Franny’s in Brooklyn.
As for the bar menu Gejdenson explains, “In Italy, they don’t really do a traditional happy hour, but feature aperitivos. We’d like to stay in keeping with this style. So during happy hour, we will do aperitivos, bringing complementary small bites out from the kitchen. Beers will be available in imperial pints, just as they are in Europe. We’ll also feature 10 oz. pours.”
As Gejdenson gets ready to share authentic Tuscan cuisine, he is excited to be coming to the neighborhood. Fortunately for all of us, May is just a few days away.
The 14th Street space that was formerly home to HR-57 (a famous DC jazz club) will soon be an Italian restaurant, named Ghibellina.
And while the restaurant hopes to be open at some point this winter, Ari Gejdenson and Ralph Lee have decided to restore the space at 1610 14th Street NW back to it’s mid-century condition. At this time, 14th Street NW was known as “auto row” for its many car dealerships. Evidence of this can be seen in the photo posted by developers at the future site of Ghibellina.
In July, the Washingtonian gave readers the inside scoop on the “Italian gastropub’s” menu offerings, it’s interior plans and it’s trouble with local neighbors over liquor licensing. The three-story space will offer a casual dining spot on the main floor, more upscale dining upstairs and a space for live music on the bottom level.
Stay tuned to Borderstan.com for more information on Ghibellina’s development.