Unless you live in Takoma Park and already have easy access to chef Gianluigi Dellaccio’s sweet frozen creations, you’re probably like me and pretty stoked that Dolci Gelati Cafe just opened in Shaw. Equally exciting, chef Cedric Maupillier of Mintwood Place is slated to open his new restaurant, Convivial, next door…
Dolci Gelati is a labour of love for Gianluigi and Anastasia Dellaccio and I never tire of hearing the story of their business’ beginnings, which had Gianluigi drumming up business by going from restaurant to restaurant with a cooler of gelato strapped to the back of his vespa. Today, Dolci Gelati is a larger operation, with a production facility in Northeast Washington, a food truck and two retail locations. The newest one in Shaw is larger than the original Takoma Park location. The 1,200 square foot space has its own kitchen and gelato machines, as well as Dolci Gelati’s signature pistachio green on its walls and two luxurious chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.
The focus of the shop is gelato, of course, but that’s not all you’ll find. Immediately upon entering, you’ll notice the gelato counter and chalkboard menus of coppe gelato, or Sundae. I instantly fell in love with the pumpkin seed gelato and I wish we could have met sooner. We will have to rekindle our relationship comes next fall 😉 All gelato can be scooped individually or served in affogatos (hot or cold), gelato panini, shakes and even cookie sandwich. Towards the middle of the cafe is one of Dolci Gelati Cafe’s nolvety: a custom gelato pops counter, which allows you to dip a gelato popsicle into a variety of melted chocolates and sprinkle them with a variety of sweet toppings. Finally, there’s a beverage, sandwich and pastry counter. This winter, try Dolci Gelati’s signature Dolci Baci hazelnut hot cocoa paired with fresh house made whipped cream or homemade marshmallows. There’s also an assortment of pastries from the traditional Italian cannoli and tiramisu to croissants and tarts. Three sandwiches (ham & cheese, pesto caprese panini and prosciutto mozzarella panini) provide a savoury respite from all the sweetness around.
Dolci Gelati Cafe opens in Shaw at 1420 8th street, NW. Check out my Tastemade video to learn more about the new space and its offerings.