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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Ice cream, Baked goods
Counter service

Sun–Thu 1:00pm–7:00pm
Fri–Sat 1:00pm–8:00pm

Features Date-friendly, delivery, live music, veg-friendly, Wi-Fi
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx


1560 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC
(202) 333-4646

Bethesda, MD
7111 Bethesda Ln.
Bethesda, MD
(301) 215-9226
With a touch of Italy, and a touch of Argentina, this little spot sells our chosen frozen

The history books are full of unsavory cases of stolen intellectual property, but one of the world’s most savory examples of imitations (on a national scale) is Argentina’s delicious appropriation of Italian gelato. Although gelato means “ice cream” in Italian, it is no ordinary version, being thicker and made with less dairy. To Italy’s recipe, the Argentines have added flavors like dulce de leche and accoutrements like alfajores (small, rich cookies). If, in fact, you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires, we recommend you find a Freddo (a popular chain) and stay there.

There is, of course, a broad range of quality in gelato, with the lowest end tasting much like sugary bulk ice cream and the highest quality gelaterias employing exceedingly fresh ingredients, so that the taste of mulberry or tiramisù or banana is powerful and clean. Luckily, Dolcezza, our very own Argentine gelateria, which occupies a small space between Georgetown and Glover Park, is of the latter persuasion.

Take, for example, the hazelnut flavor. Dolcezza has restored to its former glory what had become one of the most exploited nuts of our modern age of affluence (think Starbucks lattes). Instead of being an afterthought to coffee or chocolate, the hazelnut here takes center stage: in a not-too-sweet blend the almost bitter nuttiness comes through. Similarly, Dolcezza’s pistachio does justice to the nut: rather than inserting the tasteless chunks that fill many “pistachio” ice creams, the smooth gelato packs in the full, unsalted flavor of the fruit.

Dolcezza does, admittedly, take a few stabs in the dark. What, for example, is an Australian wattle seed, one of the shop’s staples? The best answer from behind the counter, which arrives in Spanish, is “It’s a seed, from Australia…” Well, okay. In the end, it doesn’t much matter, since whatever taste the wattle may carry is overwhelmed by the tiny flakes of chocolate and vanilla woven in.

Nuts and seeds aside, it’s the fruit flavors that really sing at Dolcezza. The blood orange is sweet, full, and just as sour as the fruit itself. The humble strawberry, critcally injured by overly creamed and artificially flavored versions, springs back to brimming life in Dolcezza’s sunny rendition.

Dolcezza’s one downside? Your Yankee Peso won’t get you far here: a small scoop will set you back four dollars.

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