In the last two years, Georgetown has really stepped up its food game thanks to places like family-owned Via Umbria – an Italian marketplace under one roof.
Over the weekend, I partook in Via Umbria’s 2nd anniversary celebration that was open to the public and included complimentary tastings, specialty cocktails, and wines all day long.
Guests snacked on meats and cheeses and Italian classics like arancini and Torta della Nonna. To wash it down, Via Umbria offered glasses of its esteemed but affordable wines and a menu of specialty cocktails.
After gobbling up a delicious fig and ricotta crostini, I was able to pull aside Suzy Menard, co-owner of Via Umbria with her husband Bill Menard. Both are long-time Washingtonians who discovered their love of Italy while studying at Georgetown Law.
We chatted upstairs in the bright gallery space currently showcasing the colorful paintings of local artist, Eileen Lyons. Suzy explained the concept of Via Umbra to me as a mini Italian village, complete with a butcher, cheesemonger, bakery, cafe, and market. Suzy also described it as a true neighborhood spot and it’s easy to see why.
Via Umbria has lots to offer across the board. It’s where you can grab your 7 am latte, pick up a quick lunch, or relax after a busy work day. Need a gift for a wedding or housewarming? At the front of the store, you’ll find specialty items imported from Italy and hand selected by Suzy and Bill. These range from Italian sauces to rich olive oils to handmade porcelain bowls.
You can go a step further and take a cooking class with the chef in the upstairs production kitchen or attend a CYOB (choose your own bottle) dinner. Guests select a bottle from Via Umbria’s wine cellar before sitting down to a curated meal.
Via Umbria also holds fun events like “Movie and a Meal.” In September, they’re showing Sideways and serving up White Castle inspired burgers, onion rings, and brownies. You can see what else Via Umbria has cooking up this month on their calendar of events.
Suzy views the anniversary celebration as the perfect opportunity to expose DC locals to all this “Italian village” has to offer, including its dedicated staff that are passionate about food and all that they do.
And I agree. After meeting Suzy and seeing all that Via Umbria has to offer, I’ll be back for more food, wine, and good company.