Galleria

Myth, Magic, and Folklore

On Saturday, April 2nd, our sun-filled Galleria will open with an art exhibiti featuring the works of the celebrated Giuseppe Fioroni.

Fioroni lives and works in his native Perugia, the regional capital of Umbria. A self-taught artist, he discovered his lifelong passion for painting as a young man. He has described Umbria as “a land of calm, a beautiful land, a land full of vibrations.” The greennery of the region, he has said, “is especially unforgettable,” and his love for Umbria’s olive trees and vineyards, as well as the oil and wine they produce, are inseparable from the place itself. His art has brought him all over the world, but he continues to live in Umbria, the province where he was born.

As a child in Perugia, Fioroni grew up surrounded by Umbrian folklore, mysticism, and traditional music. These themes lie at the center of his art. His vivid oil and multimedia paintings, Fioroni explores fantasy, fable, and magic through maelstroms of color and emotion. Often, he marries traditional folk narratives with elements of reverie and daydream, demonstrating a fascination with the liminal space where esoteric culture and unbridled imagination intersect.

Giuseppe Fioroni, Il Medicante Orfano, 2003.
Giuseppe Fioroni, Il Medicante Orfano, 2003.

When he set out to paint full-time, he was president and CEO of a company with 1,200 employees. Although he had always been a skilled artist, Fioroni did not want to paint professionally until the age of 36. At first, he created small paintings, never with the intention to exhibit them. He simply wished to paint. He first exhibited work in 1978 at the San Severo Gallery in Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia. He has also branched out from painting to add drawing, sculpture, and ceramics to his repertoire, and has achieved international acclaim for his work.

In addition to his pursuit of the visual arts, Fioroni is also an adroit musician of several ancient instruments, including the barrel-organ and the bagpipe. At was 8 years old, he was already a solo accordionist, Across Perugia, his musical skill has earned him the nickname “Maestro.”  Music is an integral part of Fioroni’s quest to unearth the deepest spirit of Umbria’s folk traditions, and his love for folk music can be observed in the stunning lyricism of his paintings, drawing, ceramics, and sculpture.

Giuseppe Fioroni, Gli Sposi, 2005.
Giuseppe Fioroni, Gli Sposi, 2005.

Fioroni’s work has also been influenced by the mix of musicians who make the yearly pilgrimage from around the world to Perugia to participate and perform in the Umbria Jazz Festival.  His gallery in Perugia often hosts artists who visit the city.  In 2008, he was commissioned by the festival organizers to create the official Umbria Jazz poster for the celebration.  Much of his work reflects the influence of jazz in his life. Often, Fioroni will alternate between painting and playing music. “Painting serves my body,” Fioroni has said, “and music serves my spirit.”

Over the past 30 years, Fioroni’s vivid, original body of work has won him adoration, acclaim, and international renown, and we at Via Umbria are very proud to showcase his work in our Galleria. Over the years, Bill and Suzy have cultivated a special relationship with Giuseppe, and are thrilled to introduce him and his remarkable work to you.

Join us in for celebrating the work of Giuseppe Fioroni at our Gallery Opening on April 2nd from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The event is free to the public, and light refreshments will be served. We hope to see you there!

 

The works of Umbrian artist Giuseppe Fioroni Read more

On Saturday, April 2nd, our sun-filled Galleria will open with an art exhibiti featuring the works of the celebrated Giuseppe Fioroni. Fioroni lives and works in ...

Via Umbria’s Top 7 Resolutions

We make New Years resolutions for many reasons (and break them for many more). This year, make a resolution you are excited to keep, and aim to change your lifestyle in small ways that will feed you emotionally and physically.
With the New Year looming, resolve to bring new experiences into your life, and have fun while doing it.

Via Umbria’s Top Seven Resolutions for a Fuller Life

Rissa Miller Ravioli

Resolution #1: Learn to Cook.

Solution: Stop squinting at recipes on your computer screen and join one of our fun, relaxed, interactive classes. Sip a glass of our Italian wine while you laugh with new friends and learn simple techniques from our favorite Umbrian Chef, Simone!

Italian cooking is simple at its heart, and there’s no better place to learn the basic steps you can take to improve your kitchen game than in our brand new laboratorio.

Make 2016 the year you answer the question “what’s for dinner?” with enthusiasm and ease. Take the first step towards that goal by signing up for one of Chef Simone’s Umbrian cooking classes, here for a limited time in January.

Bill Menard at Ernestos Perbacco Canara

Resolution #2: Indulge in the finer things in life.

Solution: Italians know that nothing makes a day special quite like surrounding yourself with the finest things life has to offer, and for us, that means making every meal a celebration.

Every time we return to Italy we are reminded that Italians know how to work the finer things in life into their daily routines, and in 2016 we are dedicated to following their example.

Did you forget to celebrate the New Year in style with caviar and bubbles? Via Umbria now has sparkling wine, caviar, and blini – stop in and stock up and turn any day into a momentous foodie moment in the New Year. Or stop by our store to peruse our ceramics collection – eating off a work of art is a luxury that will make every meal feel special.

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Resolution #3: Travel more

Solution: What are your favorite memories from 2015? Do some of them involve traveling with loved ones? Here at Via Umbria some of our most cherished moments from the past year are our times in Italy.

In the upcoming year, book the remarkable getaway you’ve always dreamed of. Spend a week at the Fattoria del Gelso with those you love – with spacious accommodations that can house up to 16 of your closest friends and family, there is no excuse for leaving anyone behind.

For those of you eager for a family-free (and stress-free) excursion, Bill and Suzy’s tours are a perfect opportunity to relax and let someone else guide you through the wonders of Umbria. Engage with a new part of the world as Bill and Suzy show you their Umbria and help you experience the ‘Green Heart of Italy’ as locals, not as tourists. They will take you to their favorite restaurants, run by families who have become close friends and whose love for the land and its bounty is apparent in every dish. They’ll share with you the history and art that is found in the area’s museums, galleries and excavations, as well as in the streets of the many significant towns of the region. You’ll spend time in the company of locals who embody the hospitality and grace of Umbria.  Sign up now before it’s too late! Vinopalooza (April 17-23), Cucinapalooza (April 11-17), and our Food and Wine Tours (October 15-21 and 22-28) are three fantastic options.

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Resolution #4: Savor Richer Flavors 

Solution: Eat amazing cheese! Come in and talk with our friendly cheesemonger (the Cheese Whiz) and find your new favorite snack, or let them help you create the perfect cheese plate for your next party, hassle free.

Just as Italians make a weekly stop at the local latteria, getting the most flavorful cheese at our counter is guaranteed to improve your quality of life. You deserve some good, quality cheese in the New Year.

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Resolution #5: Discover a new favorite wine

Solution: Be a little adventurous. Come browse our selection of unique, small production wines, large enough to comprehensively cover Italy but manageable enough not to be overwhelmed. Our nonjudgmental, Italian-only approach to wines will make you feel stimulated and satisfied. Come to one of our complementary tastings every day to learn about our curated selection – our Wine Director would love to talk to you!

For a unique experience, sign up to wine and dine with Chef and Wine Director Vickie Reh as she hosts a series of curated wine dinners in our Enoteca throughout January. Be surrounded by the wines you drink with your food in this immersive experience!  For reservations, book here.

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Resolution #6: Discover the perfect “happy hour”

Solution: Italians know how to relax. Bring some of this spirit to your new year and wind down in our cafe during Spritz O’Clock!

Every day in the cafe from 5-7 PM, enjoy a new take on the traditional ‘bar snacks’ with our rotating menu of small plates for one or to share, and pair it with our favorite Italian cocktails or a glass of wine.

Meet new people as you snack on the bites found in bars and cafes across Italy. It’s an Italian piazza here in Georgetown.

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Resolution #7: Share new experiences

Solution: Would you like to expand your network of amici in 2016? To make meaningful connections with your neighbors? Make new friends (and bring the old) when you dine at one of our communal tables.

Whether you are enjoying a lively feast in our Laboratorio (kitchen), or a more intimate celebration in our Enoteca (Wine Room), there is no better place to come together for an exceptional, one-of-a-kind evening. With our ever-changing menus, we have an approach to dining that will redefine the idea of “eat local” with “eat convivially.” Combine that with our open kitchen design, which gives you the ability to watch your food being made, and interact with your Chef throughout the meal, and you will find that this is one resolution that you’ll be sticking to long after the New Year.

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At Via Umbria we strive to create Italian experiences right here in Washington, DC. So our ultimate resolution for 2016 is to enrich our lives with the things that really feed our soul – starting with the above list. In the words of our owner, Bill Menard:

“After our first night back in Umbria, following a day of discovery, of enjoyment, of relaxing and of peace and contentment, perhaps we are inching closer to understanding the secret that is Italy. Perhaps it is not one thing that makes Italy Italy, perhaps it is the sweep, the bounty of this place. But those things – the food, the wine, the landscape, the history, the art, the lyrical language, crazy drivers in tiny cars and museum-like cities – they are not the answer themselves. They are the things that satisfy the cravings that Suzy has. That I have. That our tour guests have. That Ernesto and Simone have. Each craving personal, each craving as deep as the soul and each craving desperately in search of satisfaction. Put simply, Italy feeds what you hunger for.”

 

Happy New Year from Via Umbria!

 

Resolve to bring new experiences into your life Read more

We make New Years resolutions for many reasons (and break them for many more). This year, make a resolution you are excited ...

Pasta Making Party at Via Umbria

With the arrival of our liquor license, we can now host events in our upstairs labratorio and Galleria! So we kicked off our events schedule with an pasta making party to remember.

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Spritzes in hand, our group had a riotous time learning how to make pasta from scratch, including squid ink pasta and ravioli.

Chef Rissa Miller offers pasta making tips
Chef Rissa Miller offers pasta making tips
Squid Ink Pasta
Squid Ink Pasta
Guests get their hands dirty!
Guests get their hands dirty!

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After learning the techniques, they moved to the Galleria for a leisurely, family-style meal featuring a pasta bar of their own creations and wonderful Umbrian wines.

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If you are interested in hosting a party at Via Umbria in the future, please contact events@viaumbria.com or call 202.333.3904 – we would love to have you!

 

Ci Vediamo!

 

– Via Umbria

Celebrating our Liquor License! Read more

With the arrival of our liquor license, we can now host events in our upstairs labratorio and Galleria! So we kicked off our events ...

A Flurry of Georgetown Events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sample the best of Georgetown events this December at Via Umbria! Get cozy at Book Club with Dick Rosano, visit 13th century Italy at our Medieval Dinner, or put on your “whodunnit” hat for our Murder Mystery Party — it will be simply to die for! Read on below for details about these events and more, all happening this December at Via Umbria!
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December_Event_Calendar_-_Via_Umbria_1
Click on calendar to enlarge and/or download

DEC 9 – Murder Mystery Party – Pasta, Passion, and Poison

$60 per person

7-10 PM

Join us for an evening of dining and disaster, imbibing and intrigue, and feasting and fun.

 

DEC 10 – Dinner Party with Chef Vickie 

$75 per person

7-10 PM

Chef and Somm Vickie Reh will cook a four course Umbrian dinner, with wine pairings, at our communal tables.

 

DEC 11 – Umbrian Dinner with Chef Jodie 

$75 per person

7-10 PM

Chef Jodie Steiner will cook a four course Umbrian dinner, with wine pairings, at our communal tables.

 

DEC 12 – Medieval Dinner

$125 per person

7-10 PM

Join ceramicist and historian Robert Van Rens for an informative and delicious feast with wine pairings. Come learn about how Italian trade patterns influenced food in the pre-Renaissance Italian states, in a dinner that features recipes from 13th century Italy.

 

DEC 14-20 Augusta Pardi at Via Umbria 

 

DEC 16 – Holiday Cookies with Chef Dorrie Argentine 

$60

7-10 PM

Our interactive cooking class is all you need to win the cookie swap this holiday season! Come bake some delicious treats in the Via Umbria test kitchen.

 

DEC 17 – Pardi Truffle Dinner

$200

7-10 PM

Join special guest Augusta Pardi of Pardi linens and Pardi wines for a paired dinner featuring her family’s Montefalco wines.

 

DEC 17 – Book Club with Dick Rosano 

Free

7-8:30 PM

Hunting Truffles is a murder mystery for the Italiophile foodie. Join author Dick Rosano for a book signing, discussion, and truffle tasting in the Via Umbria cafe. Book available in-store.

 

DEC 19 – Umbrian Dinner with Chef Vickie 

$125

7-10 PM

Chef and Somm Vickie Reh will cook a four course Umbrian dinner, with wine pairings, at our communal tables.

 

DEC 20 – Umbrian Dinner with Chef Jodie 

$125

7-10 PM

Chef Jodie Steiner will cook a four course Umbrian dinner, with wine pairings, at our communal tables.

 

25 – Christmas Day – Closed

 

 

 

To attend any of these events, please email feedme@viaumbria.com, or call 202.333.3904.

 

Ci Vediamo!

-Via Umbria

December at Via Umbria Read more

                    Sample the best of Georgetown events this December at Via Umbria! Get cozy at Book Club with Dick Rosano, visit 13th century Italy ...

Cooking Demo

Thank you to everyone who came out for our inaugural cooking demonstration on Wednesday! Dorrie Gleason led us through three different types of frittatas, an egg sandwich and panettone with sour and sweet fruit sauce.

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Recipe cards

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Dorrie Gleason

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We had a wonderful (and tasty) time!

Our next cooking class will be this upcoming Wednesday, November 25th, from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, where we will be making Thanksgiving cakes and pies. See more on our Facebook, and come join us!

 

Ci Vediamo!

–Via Umbria

 

Italian Brunch with Dorrie Gleason Read more

Thank you to everyone who came out for our inaugural cooking demonstration on Wednesday! Dorrie Gleason led us through three different types of frittatas, ...

Events Space at Via Umbria

On Sunday night we were able to celebrate our first event in the newly remodeled space. With some assistance from Chef Simone and Ombretta, we hosted a smashing surprise birthday party to remember. Here are the photos from the event – we are so happy to finally be able to share this space with you!

Daniele Sassi from Tabarrini helped us with the wines
Daniele Sassi from Tabarrini was present to help us learn about the wines
Bread from Metropolitian bakery
Bread from Metropolitian bakery
Homemade tortolini from Simone
Homemade tortoloni from Simone
Our new Cipolloni oil
Our new Cipolloni oil
Walnuts in Honey - a new decadent treat we will carry in the store
Walnuts in Honey – a new decadent treat we will carry in the store
Simone, Daniele, and Suzy
Simone, Daniele, and Suzy

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Ci Vediamo!

 

–Via Umbria

Celebrate your special events at Via Umbria! Read more

On Sunday night we were able to celebrate our first event in the newly remodeled space. With some assistance from Chef Simone and ...

Press Release: Illy partners with Via Umbria

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What’s hot, Italian and waiting for you at the bar?

That’s right—illy coffee at the all new Via Umbria opening this November! Paired with a fresh made croissant, and sipped at the bar—Via Umbria provides the traditional Italian coffee bar experience right in Georgetown.

“You can grab a cup of coffee anywhere; we wanted to offer people a real Italian coffee experience. Stop in on your way to work, order a small, delicious cup of illy and talk politics with your neighbor—just like in Italy. We will open at 7am for coffee and breakfast,” said Suzy Menard, one of the owners of Via Umbria.

Via Umbria’s coffee bar is perfect for those who crave the classic social European coffee experience instead of a cafe overrun with people on headphones and laptops.

Later this week, Via Umbria will announce its website’s new press page for up-to-date news, events and announcements.

CONTACT: Jenny Buck, Via Umbria 
(612)801-6056 
jennybuck1@gmail.com

To warm up your mornings with delicious warm coffee! Read more

What’s hot, Italian and waiting for you at the bar? That’s right—illy coffee at the all new Via Umbria opening this November! Paired ...

Vickie Reh Joins the Via Umbria Team

Vickie Reh

 

What happens when passions collide?  In this case, amazing flavor as Via Umbria opens its doors in a few short weeks. One of its many new offerings will be Italian cooking demonstrations paired with the perfect wine—and who better to bring these two together than DC Chef and Sommelier, Vickie Reh.

Vickie Reh

“Joining Via Umbria is the perfect opportunity for me—it combines my passion for cooking, wine and tourism.  Via Umbria’s owners, Bill and Suzy Menard bring quality to everything they do and I am looking forward to being part of their new Italian Marketplace in Georgetown.”

Bill and Suzy Menard with Vickie
Bill and Suzy Menard with Vickie

Many DC Foodies will remember Reh in her position as Chef at Buck’s Fishing & Camping. Reh is a Certified Sommelier and a recipient of the Level Three Award from the Wine Spirits and Education Trust, passing with Distinction.  Since leaving Buck’s she has been a wine consultant and personal chef and is currently working on a book about food and wine. “I’ve been waiting for the next right opportunity and this is it.  I met the Menards when I was Chef at Buck’s years ago, and we became friends.  I’ve travelled with them to Italy and cooked with them in their home.  I am really excited to join this enticing endeavor.  More than a restaurant or market, Via Umbria is an authentic Italian experience and I get to help make that happen.”

Vickie Reh Via Umbria

Via Umbria will operate café style during the day with guests enjoying freshly prepared fare from the onsite kitchen.  Cooking and wine classes in the exhibition kitchen will be offered.

 

“Introducing our customers to the complete experience of Umbrian food and wine is going to be great fun! Via Umbria will have everything needed for those looking to learn about cooking specialty Italian fare at home–fabulous authentic ingredients and an enthusiastic staff ready to advise every step of the way!”

Bill Menard makes Rabbit

Via Umbria will open in early November, with a tentative date of November 7th  In the meantime, you can read about the adventures of Chef Reh and the Menards as they lead an upcoming Food and Wine Tour at their Italian farmhouse, right here on the blog. To read more about Vickie Reh’s ideas about food and wine and her culinary odyssey with Bill & Suzy, check our her blog http://www.vickieswinetable.com/blog.

 

Ci Vediamo!

 

–Via Umbria

Come and share our excitement with us! Read more

  What happens when passions collide?  In this case, amazing flavor as Via Umbria opens its doors in a few short weeks. One ...

End of Summer Wine Tasting with Arte Modus

Via Umbria Arte Modus Wine tasting

Via Umbria and Arte Modus modern design studio invite you to an end of summer Umbrian Wine Tasting.

Enjoy the flavors of our Umbrian wine and light bites in the beautiful Art Modus studio.

Arte Modus, located by the canal in Georgetown, is a modern design studio featuring high end furniture and fixtures from some of Italy’s top studios. Art Modus helped create the vision for the new Via Umbria store, market, gallery and kitchen to open this Fall 2015.  We hope you will join us!

6-8 PM on Thursday, September 24th.

 

ARTE MODUS

1054  31st Street, NW

Suite  #009

WASHINGTON, DC 20007

 

RSVP to info@viaumbria.com or call 202.333.3904

 

You can also find our event on Facebook.

 

Ci Vediamo!

–Via Umbria

Join us for a tasting of special Umbrian wines Read more

Via Umbria and Arte Modus modern design studio invite you to an end of summer Umbrian Wine Tasting. Enjoy the flavors of our Umbrian wine and light ...