Goodbye Hula Girl pop-up, hello Pasteria Floriana

The old Pulpo space is fast becoming the quick-change artist of Cleveland Park.

Daniel Hlusak, the new chef at Floriana, will host a pop-up at the former Pulpo space in Cleveland Park. (Courtesy of Floriana)

Daniel Hlusak, the new chef at Floriana, will host a pop-up at the former Pulpo space in Cleveland Park. (Courtesy of Floriana)

Last month, in what seemed like a blink of an eye, the former tapas emporium ditched its tentacle-driven art for some tasty Hawaiian decor as Mikala Brennan temporarily parked her food truck and launched a Hula Girl pop-up. Well, the Hula Girl Bar & Grill ends its stay on Sunday, March 16, to make way for yet another pop-up: Pasteria Floriana, a test run of chef Daniel Hlusak's new lunch menu at Floriana, the first ever at the neighborhood Italian bistro in Dupont Circle.

In order words, you'll be able to order Floriana's future lunch menu for dinner at the former Pulpo at lunch-time prices. Got it?

Hlusak's concise menu (see below) features a trio of appetizers, a handful of salads (the Milanese features a chicken cutlet, which sounds like my kind of salad), eight pasta dishes (veal raviolini, gnocchi with lamb ragu, goat cheese pansotti with mushroom ragu, among others) and three entrees (including sage-roasted chicken).

Prices will range from $8 to $25. There will also be a prix-fixe option: appetizer, pasta and dessert for $30. An all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunch will be available on Saturday and Sunday for $35 per person.

If any of these options sound appetizing, you'll have to act fast. Pasteria Floriana will open on Tuesday, March 18, and likely run only through March 27, says Dave Hansen, operations director for the Tapper Restaurant Group.

"It's essentially a one-week pop-up to demo the lunches," Hansen says.

After March 27, the old Pulpo space will undergo one more transformation. Hansen can't say much yet. The Tapper group is in late-stage negotiations with a new occupant, who will refurbish the space and turn it into an "international barbecue" concept. The new place should not take long to build out, he adds.

"This [space] is not going dark for three months," Hansen promises. "They're trying to gear it up very quickly."

To close out her pop-up, Brennan will be looking to clean out the walk-in. She's offering an all-you-can-eat-and-drink dinner special on Sunday for $50. Start saving those calories now.

Pasteria Floriana, 3407 Connecticut Ave. NW, will run 4 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. Brunch will run 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

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