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Fearless Critic restaurant review

Daily 8:00am–8:00pm

Features Good wines, kid-friendly, outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx


3276 M St. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 342-2500
Dean & Deluca
One of America’s foremost specialty groceries—and a sidewalk-café hotspot, too

Nestled comfortably on the main drag of Georgetown in a handsome red brick warehouse, the DC branch of Dean & Deluca is filled with foodie delights. A wine cellar lives next to a chocolate counter, and fine meats (both fresh and cured), cheeses, fancy pantry items, and exotic produce all cohabitate with a bakery and plates of prepared food. The store is immaculate. Like their groceries, Dean & Deluca’s prepared foods are shiny, well presented, and expensive.

If you choose prepared foods, you can bring your picnic of pristine takeout containers to the lively, shady, expansive outside café, where well-groomed, well-off shoppers dine on baked goods and sip lattes with equally well-groomed dogs in tow. It’s a beautiful place just to sit with a coffee on a nice day, too—no food necessary.

Among prepared foods, we favor the baked goods. A hunk of cornbread is sweet and crumbly, studded with whole kernels, and moist enough to assure a liberal use of butter—a requirement for good cornbread. Best of all are the gelati from the café’s cart. Chai-flavored gelato is creamy and spicy, just as rich as Dean & Deluca’s liquid version, while a strawberry-lavender version of the Italian ice cream is a tour of flavors, starting with the aromatic bitterness of lavender, moving into the full sweetness of strawberry, and finishing on a hint of citrus. At $3.50 for a not-so-small small, it’s a remarkable value.

We love the pâtés and charcuterie. Wines are New-World-centric, carefully chosen, and elite; the wine manager is operating on the level of a top restaurant sommelier. If you’re one of the people for whom food-and-wine shopping is not just a household need, but more of a sport, you might wind up spending an inordinate amount of time here.

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