Caruso’s Grocery – Italian Restaurant at The Roost – Opens Next Week

Caruso’s Grocery – Italian Restaurant at The Roost – Opens Next Week

by Larry Janezich

Caruso’s Grocery opens this week.  The Roost’s Culinary Clubhouse at 14th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE, has one standalone restaurant – Caruso’s Grocery.  It’s modeled on a classic southern Italian red sauce- red banquette-old school type eatery – like AV’s, for those who remember the iconic New York Avenue eatery favored by Members of Congress and neighborhood diners alike. 

According to Chef Matt Adler, after a soft opening this weekend for friends and family, the restaurant will open for limited reservations on Wednesday, May 5th, and fully open a week later on May 12th

The menu is not on their website yet, but it will feature traditional Italian – items including Chicken Parmesan, Shrimp Scampi, Penne alla Vodka, Mozzarella en Corozza, Sole Francaise, Garlic Bread with Four Cheese Sauce. 

According to the website description, the beverage program will feature affordably priced Italian wines by the glass, carafe, and bottle, along with a short reserve list – and a selection of Italian-style pilsners and sours sourced from Italy.  Vintage cocktails include an Espresso Martini, Limoncellotini, Mulberry St. Cosmo – all featuring house made liqueurs from Show of Hands, the Roost’s separate cocktail bar.  Classic espresso rounds out the beverage menu.

Caruso’s chef, Matt Adler, spent most of his career focused on regional Italian cuisine.  Adler has worked with top chefs including Alain Ducasse and Michael White.  An opportunity to serve as opening chef to Osteria Morini in the Capitol Riverfront in 2013 brought him to DC.  Osteria Morini received two and a half stars from both the Washington Post and Washingtonian magazine.  Caruso’s was inspired by Adler’s father’s upstate New York restaurant called Scoozi.  Adler partnered with Neighborhood Restaurant Group (NRG) on the development of The Roost and Caruso’s Grocery in 2019.  Besides the Culinary Clubhouse at The Roost, Michael Babin’s NRG also owns Iron Gate, Hazel, Bluejacket, and Churchkey, The Partisan and several outlets in Virginia, including the Evening Star Cafe, Buzz Bakeshop, Columbia Firehouse, Vermilion, and Rustico. 

According to the website, menus and hours will be coming soon.  You can check them out here:


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4 responses to “Caruso’s Grocery – Italian Restaurant at The Roost – Opens Next Week

  1. Stephanie

    Great news — looking forward to trying the new place!

  2. Craig D'Ooge

    What could be more authentic than the 30 year old Trattoria Alberto on 8th St. SE?

  3. Well… fi on this. Called about “soft opening” – they say not til Wednesday AND they’ll take no reservations. “You can follow us on social media.” How bloody tiresome. Just give me a reservation dammit. Interested in eating — not being part of some scene.

    • ok. I take my previous comment back. I signed up for notices on their site and got an email inviting me to try the place before their official opening next Wednesday – so I sent an email asking for a reservation and Adam, the GM, immediately replied. Ate there last night, and it was just as billed: excellent neighborhood Italian fare. Service was superb. Young and enthusiastic, but extremely well trained and knowledgeable. Never intrusive, but very attentive. The pasta is house made, the sauces well paired with entrees – not the same red stuff ladled over whatever, like Trattoria (which has long been a favorite for its club-like comfort has been less than inventive since Sergio left). The noise level is a flaw, it’s awful, but Adam says they’re working on a solution. I sent him a congratulatory email this morning saying that my only fear is that when word gets out we’ll never get in again.