Sisters Frances and Ginger Park share a love of chocolate passed on from their mother, and that shared passion has been on display at Chocolate Chocolate for nearly 30 years. In their cozy sweets boutique, the pair collects an array of artisan confections, from imported Swiss Laderach chocolates to house-made truffles, that have earned accolades from The Washington Post, Washingtonian Magazine, and other national outlets. Their DC Monument line—featured in the March 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine—showcases white, milk, and dark chocolate treats shaped like famous DC monuments so that customers can live out their fantasy of biting the Capitol Dome without the hassle of reverse-engineering a shrink ray.
While most restaurants have made some memorable deliveries, not many can say they sent doggie bags full of chicken wings to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. President George Bush and his Secret Service agents ordered up a mess of wings and chowed down on the spicy flavor that first made Wingos famous back when it opened in 1983. Today, the small Georgetown storefront still serves up its original recipes in varieties such as teriyaki, lemon-pepper, and nuclear-spicy hot wings alongside a selection of half-pound Angus burgers, hot dogs, cheesesteaks, and cold-cut sandwiches. During the summer, they open up a Coney Island–style ice-cream window and dole out scoops in pints, floats, milkshakes, or carved into the face of your favorite Mount Rushmore president.
The beef served up at BGR The Burger Joint comes from free-roaming, grain-fed cattle, but is merely the canvas for the stacked masterpieces that this eatery conjures up. Buns are made locally, the toppings are fresh and the whole sandwich is grilled to order. You can create your own, choosing from various veggies and cheeses, or opt for one of the classics. Be sure to try the Wellington, served with onions, black truffles and crumbled bleu cheese. If you aren’t a fan of ground round, there are veggie burgers and turkey burgers, along with an ahi tuna concoction and a Greek-spiced lamb burger. Add a side of fries (both regular and sweet potato are on offer) and top it off with a hand-spun chocolate, vanilla or strawberry shake.
When a customer walks into Celine de Paris, owner Sharon Amar hopes they feel like they’ve just stepped off a private jet into a boutique located in a swanky European metropolis. To cultivate this chic vibe, he fills his boutique with upscale lingerie, clothing, and accessories culled from overseas retailers such as A jour and Hristy. Amar and his staff ensure a personalized shopping experience by pairing each customer with apparel that flatters their body type, such as gowns with deep-v necklines and sheer blouses that reveal actual hearts of gold. The boutique also assists customers in finding the perfectly fitting bra by taking measurements and letting customers try on various styles.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. At each location, thin, Lebanese-style pitas encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies, all grilled to order. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. The staff empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for each bread, meat, and post-meal toothpick and corralling a selection of healthy sandwiches.
A couple sits at a table on Ristorante Piccolo's second-floor balcony, peering over the wrought-iron railing at the historic C&O Canal as plumes of heat rise from plates of pasta showered in red sauce. Dishes arrive fresh from the kitchen of the lovingly restored 250-year-old building, where chef Arnaldo Rubio calls on 25 years of experience as he whips up daily batches of fresh ravioli and gnocchi. Around the dining room, Murano glass light fixtures illuminate crisp table linens and the intricate woodwork around a trio of fireplaces. Out on the ground-floor patio, patrons can digest platefuls of lasagna, ravioli, and risotto as the sun looks on enviously.