14th Street Corridor
Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee is introducing four new seasonal gelato and sorbetto flavors just in time for Christmas. Priced at $60, their Christmas Package includes four pints of gelato and sorbetto. As their website says, “Four pints, shipping included. Could it get any sweeter?” The package includes two pints of gelato, a classic American-style peppermint gelato called King Leo Peppermint, and Eggnog gelato, made with eggs sourced from Creekside Farm in West Virginia, and Buffalo Trace bourbon from Kentucky. The sorbetto selections include Seville orange coriander and whiskey made with an old English marmalade recipe, and Clementine, which is made with fresh, sweet, juicy tangerines.
Beginning Monday, December, 8 and available until December 31, Lupo Verde will sell gourmet Christmas baskets filled with exceptional handmade Italian specialties created by executive chef Domenico Apollaro. Prices range from $125 to 150 and you can choose from a pre-packed basket or create your own from their delicious list. The pre-packed baskets each include homemade marmalade, homemade ragù, a bottle of Sagrantino di Montefalco, a bottle of Limoncello, three different cheeses, and three cured meats from Lupo Verde’s charcuterie shop.
Upper Columbia Heights
NEW RESTAURANT OPENING: Thip Khao. Chef Seng has brought her fantastic food across the river from the Virginia suburbs to the dining hinterlands of upper Columbia Heights in D.C. Her new restaurant opened on December 5, and the food is incredible. It’s evocative of her home country, Laos, and highlights Laotian cuisine’s mix of sweet, savory, salty, spicy, and sour flavors. So many things on the menu are memorable and inspire you to try more, but three standouts are the crispy watercress with shrimp, mango, green apple, and cashew with tamarind sauce; the pork sausage made with lemongrass, peanut, ginger, and jaew mak len (a kind of Laotian tomato sauce); and lettuce wraps with grilled flounder, lemongrass, ginger, tomato, peanuts, and cellophane noodles.
Every month, Burger, Tap & Shake, which shares a kitchen and draft beer program with chef Jeff Tunk’s District Commons hangout, features a new burger and shake. Everything is made on-premises, including the fries, toppings, sauces, and buns. December’s new menu includes the Rudolph: a char-grilled burger made with venison and pork topped with Gruyère, sweet and sour onions, and cranberry mustard. Then, there’s the Candy Cane shake: a thick, rich blend of house-churned vanilla ice cream, crushed candy cane, and house peppermint syrup.
City Tap House is a favorite craft beer restaurant in D.C., and on December 14 they will be hosting a special brunch with Santa, and culinary director Brian Cooke has created a special Christmas brunch menu that will satisfy kids and parents. Some of the standout menu items include Southern-style crostini made with shaved Benton ham, spicy pimento cheese, and pickled green tomato; flaky buttermilk biscuits topped with fried eggs, Cheddar cheese, and country sausage gravy; and strawberry-almond French toast with vanilla mascarpone and Marcona almonds. Prices range from $6 to $26 and children under 10 eat free.
If a cupcake is what you crave, Red Velvet Cupcakery is offering four seasonal cupcakes that change each week. From December 12 to 18 you can indulge in the gingerbread cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting, from December 19 to 25 the featured cupcake is the flourless chocolate cupcake with peppermint milk chocolate ganache, and from December 26 to January 1 you can revel in the Hot Buttered Rum Cupcake with French vanilla topping.
David Guas, chef and owner of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery, is a pastry chef first and never seems to run out of ideas to tempt your sweet tooth. His handmade Southern sweets and treats are now an annual part of what he calls “Candy Corner.” These irresistible stocking-stuffers are a must on local gourmand gift lists and each one comes attractively wrapped in ribbons, ready to give to your family and friends. They are available to purchase daily, starting on Wednesday, December 10. Be sure you try the trinity of pralines that includes traditional, chocolate, and chicory coffee pralines; the heavenly hash made with pecan and marshmallow fudge will make you want to buy several bags at once, and bacon lovers will clamor for the porkorn made with caramel, Virginia peanut popcorn, Benton’s bacon, and cayenne.