I have a friend who is obsessed with macarons. So obsessed that she researches macaron places whenever she moves to a new city and samples them, mercilessly critiquing them with her exacting standards until she finds a place where they have the flavors she likes, the proper cookie to filling ratio, and the requisite crunchy exterior but soft interior. My friend’s exacting standards took me to Olivia Macaron, a small bakery in Georgetown. The macarons (please, please, please don’t call them macaroons- those are made from coconut and are a completely different dessert) were delicious and, as is usual for macarons, grossly overpriced at $2.50 for one small cookie. My friend is especially fond of the seasonal cherry blossom flavor, and it was indeed very tasty. So, if you don’t mind paying a pretty penny for your tasty treat (as is always the case with macarons), this place is worth checking out. Just don’t expect cutesy French decor- it’s pretty minimalist, which is too bad in my opinion. And for my kosher-observant friends, their macarons are certified kosher!
Olivia Macaron is located at 3222 M Street NW in Georgetown, with additional locations in Bethesda and Tyson’s Corner.
Crêpes Parfait is a crêpes food truck, whose location can be found on their Twitter. What I appreciate about this crêpe truck is that unlike most crêpe places in the US, they understand that savory crêpes (galettes) are supposed to be made from buckwheat, while dessert crêpes should use regular flour. They don’t do eggs on their galettes, which is unfortunate, but understandable since it would likely make the process more complicated. I do like myself a ham, egg and cheese galette, but I settled for a ham and cheese, which was tasty.
Point Chaud Cafe and Crepes is a coffee shop and creperie located at 1012 14th St NW. It serves both sweet and savory crepes, though it does not serve its savory crepes as traditional square, buckwheat galettes as is done in Brittany. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to crepes/galettes and I typically order a ham, egg, and cheese savory crepe/galette, which is known as a crepe/galette complète in France. Mine was tasty, though it’s not a particularly complicated food and I do wish it had been the buckwheat galette version, which is more authentic. The place is cutely decorated like an authentic French cafe, and it’s a nice place to stop in for a quick bite downtown.
Le Caprice is a French café and bakery located at 3460 14th St NW in Columbia Heights. It claims to have the best croissants in DC, a bold statement, not because the croissants in DC are typically any good (they aren’t) but because claiming anything good about a croissant in the US typically sets me up to be (as the French say) déçu. Their croissant was certainly far better than the average croissant in the US (the croissants sold under the faux-French La Boulange brand at Starbucks are particularly
It’s cute that the croissant comes on a special plate and it was well above-average for the US, but not good enough to impress me too much.
heinous) it wasn’t a standout, and wasn’t any better than the croissants at Paul, which are pretty decent. My café au lait was perfectly good, and I appreciated the interesting international selection of pastries (including Persian and Armenian ones) that I saw. My Jewish alter-ego, Rabbi Grovewitz, was particularly pleased to see hamentaschen in the display case. More troubling was the look of the macarons, which had colors about as natural as John Boehner’s skin tone. The baklava also didn’t look very authentic (maraschino cherries have ZERO place on baklava). The place wasn’t cozy per se but there is good table space, making it one of the better options in the area for working on a laptop.
Sacré bleu, the color of those macarons makes me want to retreat like the French military.