Tea time is commonplace in the UK, while in the US, it can be difficult to find it done properly, that is, with well-brewed tea, finger foods such as cucumber sandwiches and, most crucially, scones with clotted cream and jam. Clotted cream always makes me think of clogged arteries, since it’s somewhere between whipped cream and butter in consistency. But it is so worth it. Once you taste the deliciousness that is clotted cream and jam on a scone, you’ll just keep craving it. Fortunately, Lady Camellia, with it’s absolutely adorable interior and its location in an old row house on a Georgetown’s beautiful, largely residential Prospect Street, is an absolute gem that does high tea perfectly. While Lady Camellia sounds like a classic British name, its actually a clever pun on the fact that the Latin genus-species name for the tea plant is Camellia sinensis. I’m convinced that even the Queen of England herself would find nothing to turn up her nose at. There are a number of different options for what you can order with your tea, but I opted for the Full Tea, which includes tea sandwiches, scones or croissants and pastries. I got mine with (of course) scones with clotted cream and jam and macarons. This is a great place to go for a special occasion. I went because I was the token guy at a female coworker’s birthday celebration. So bust out your Jack Wills outfit and your fascinator, and head over to tea time at Lady Camellia.
Lady Camellia is located at 3261 Prospect St NW.
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.
Chaia is a farmhouse-chic vegetarian taco spot in Georgetown that’s so delicious that it doesn’t make me miss meat. The fact that it scores as one of the best taco places in DC in my book without serving meat speaks volumes. The tacos include such inventive, seasonal options as the sweet potato hash taco with feta, arugala pumpkin seed salsa and cilantro and much more. I ordered a trio of tacos for $11, which is a bit more expensive than I’d pay for a trio of meat tacos at a place like Tacos El Chilango, but what you’re getting here is (in their words) a farm to taco experience. The tacos are artfully put together, delicious and good for you too. I also had their seasonal strawberry rhubarb shrub to drink, which was a great accompaniment to the food.
Chaia is located right on the C&O Canal in Georgetown at 3207 Grace St NW.
Moby Dick House of Kabob is a casual Persian restaurant with numerous locations throughout the DMV area. The two DC locations are at 1300 Connecticut Ave. N.W. near Dupont Circle and 1070 31st Street N.W. in Georgetown, which are the only ones that I have been to so far. Moby Dick has a special place in my heart because it is one of the first places I ever ate in DC when I was on a pre-orientation for a trip to Tajikistan to study Persian. As a student of Persian and a big fan of Persian food, I can vouch that Moby Dick (despite its bizarre name) is one of the best places to get a reliably good Persian-style kabob in the area. Persian kabobs, when done right are hearty, juicy and served with delicious, buttery long grain rice that you will want to devour on its own (with some yogurt sauce on top). I typically order a lamb kabob (kabob-eh barreh) which is reliably satisfying. I have also had their koobideh kabob, which is similar to a seekh kabob in South Asian restaurants. It is good too and is a classic Persian dish but I don’t like it as much as the chunks of lamb. Their baklava is a bit pricey, but baklava tends to be and it’s very tasty. There are a few drawbacks to Moby Dick; first, it lacks an everyday offering of some of the more diverse, non-kabob dishes of Persian cuisine, like ghormeh sabzi or zereshk polo. Instead, it offers a daily lunch special that cycles through some of the other Persian classics. In addition, the wait can be a bit long and the service, while not rude, could be a bit warmer and friendlier. That aside, for your kabob fix, Moby Dick is hard to beat.