Gone are all signs of the roach- and rodent-plagued Mid City Deli. The prime corner on 14th and P streets NW has been completely transformed as the sixth gelateria and cafe from Dolcezza.
New to this location is a to-go window on 14th Street, where customers will be able to order from the sidewalk. The Logan Circle spot also offers a rotating selection of sophisticated sundaes or "copettas" ($7 to $10) with seasonally changing toppings and homemade whipped creams. Among the current concoctions: Fruity Pebbles with Indonesian vanilla bean gelato with crushed marcona almonds and candied citrus zest, as well as Coffee & Cookies with espresso gelato, cookie crumbles, coffee dust, and whipped cream. Pints and push-pops are available to go in the freezer, and your caffeine fix comes from Stumptown Coffee Roasters. Oh, and there's Wi-Fi.
In researching the property, owners and couple Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman discovered that the building was originally constructed in the late 1800s as a pharmacy. They've tried to nod to that history with apothecary-esque shelving and millwork. But the makeover goes far beyond that: The place was completely gutted, and the revamped room now includes several nooks with tables and a sundae bar with stools. Duncan says renovations cost nearly three times the amount of money he usually puts into his shops.
As for the fact that the location is only half a block away from another artisan gelateria, Pitango, Duncan is unfazed. "I don't consider it competition," he says playfully. And either way, "it's too good of a spot to turn down, whether there's ice cream, gelato, coffee, or whatever places are here. To walk away from this spot, we couldn't do it."
In case you need an extra reason to stop by , the gelateria is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in July by offering free mini cones of chocolate suizo (Swiss) gelato to the first 100 customers at each of its locations on July 1. Got a birthday in July? You're in further luck. Bring an ID throughout the month and receive a complimentary small gelato in any flavor you want. (Limit one per customer.)
Dolcezza, 1418 14th St. NW; (202) 817-3900; dolcezzagelato.com
Photo by Jessica Sidman