I love the image that the phrase “like a kid in a candy store” conjures up. It brings to mind an exploration that is filled with glee. What could be better? This describes my state of being when I have an opportunity to preview Dolci Gelati, now open in City Market at O in the Shaw neighborhood of DC.
Dolci Gelati is so much more than great gelato. This new “hot” spot, owned and operated by pastry chef Gianluigi Dellaccio and his wife Anastasia, offers delectable pastries, rich hot chocolate and coffees, as well as savory panini sandwiches. The setting of the new cafe has touches of elegance, with decor that includes colorful artwork and two large gleaming antique crystal chandeliers.
The gelato at Dolci Gelati is world class. Made from authentic Italian family recipes, Dellaccio uses fresh local ingredients to create unique flavors including honey marscapone fig, pumpkin pie, Thai coconut lemongrass, Earl Grey Tea, and many more. There is also a changing menu of sorbets. Sundaes are hard to resist here, as Dellacio demonstrates by magically whipping up concoctions like Ananas Royale with greek yogurt gelato, fresh pineapple, and pineapple and strawberry sauce.
Dolci Gelati takes dessert to the next level in many ways, but what has me jumping for joy are custom gelato pops. Here is where your own creativity can take hold. You select your gelato flavor, choose a chocolate coating, and then add toppings like nuts, sprinkles, or toasted coconut. Mini gelato pops allow you to try more flavor combinations… if you dare.
If your Willy Wonka fantasies are not yet satisfied, there are more options. My very favorite thing at Dolci Gelati is gelato panini. Select a gelato flavor, and watch with delight as it is pressed into a sweet bun, and served with a fluffy swirl of whipped cream on the side. This is truly heavenly.
The gelato can be found throughout the area on the Dolci Gelati truck, in carts at the Nationals Ballpark, and in the original shop in Takoma Park. It can also be purchased at retail outlets including Whole Foods.
While our media preview enables us to sample many of the gems here all at once, multiple visits may be a saner way to approach Dolci Gelati Cafe. Delllaccio says that his new DC cafe is a dream come true. It’s fulfilling my dreams as well.
Dolci Gelati Cafe, City Market at O, 1420 8th St NW, Washington, DC