Master Sommelier and Culinary Institute of America graduate Jarad Slipp is bringing his pizza-producing skills and a selection of niche wines to Middleburg with a new restaurant set to open this week.
Knead Wine at 5 West Washington St. is hosting a soft opening this week, with a grand opening set for Aug. 6.
Slipp, who served for six years as estate director at RdV Vineyards in Delaplane and as restaurant director at the four-star CityZen restaurant in Washington, D.C., before that, told the Times-Mirror he long dreamed of opening a pizza and wine shop.
After working in the food and beverage industry for decades, he said it was time to open his own spot, showcasing the simplicity of Neopolitan-style pizzas with accessible, consumer-friendly wines.
Located in the former space of Le Petit Marche, Slipp signed the lease at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and has spent the past few months renovating and preparing to open.
On one side of the wall is an assortment of wines for $20 and on the other are wines for $45. Beer will also be available, the owner said.
“My job is to make wines more accessible and remove any elitism or snobbiness. There are a lot of classic wines and some unique options such as a Lambrusco from Argentina and a Saparavi from Georgia, the country. All of them will go well with pizza,” he said.
Pizzas will be sold as take-out for now, with prices ranging from $16 to $29. Gluten-free crust is available.
In the middle of the trattoria is a long community table, which for now displays wine.
Assisting Slipp with the project is his girlfriend, Allie Nault, who is the hospitality director at Knead and also works at the famed Inn at Little Washington.
“Middleburg is the cutest and most quaint town you can imagine, and it was the perfect location to open a wine shop and pizza place,” Nault said.
Slipp’s Neopolitan-style pizza pays homage to his travels, including attending cooking school in Italy. “He has eaten and enjoyed a lot of pizza and has perfected his own recipe,” his girlfriend noted.
The dough is handmade from four simple ingredients — flour, salt, yeast and water — and it is baked in a 900-degree oven imported from Sweden.
“If it’s not made with the best of everything, it’s never going to be magical. It’s all in the details,” he said.
The house specialty will be a deep-dish pizza that requires more time to prepare. Because of the more laborious process, only 10 house specialties will be available each day.
Slipp and Nault said they are grateful for the ongoing support from town officials and the greater Middleburg community.
“It’s scary and nerve-wracking, but we feel fortunate to be opening right now,” Slipp said.
Knead Wine will be open Thursday through Monday. More information can be found via its Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Correction: This article has been updated to correct Allie Nault's work titles. Nault is the hospitality director at Knead and works at The Inn at Little Washington.