Months ending in "r" aren't the busiest times for a gelato shop. But Dolcezza in Georgetown is staying warm. This winter, owner Robb Duncan is focusing on fresh-roasted coffee. His “Char-bucks Challenge"launches today and will run indefinitely.
That means Dolcezza will open at 7 AM every weekday morning so Robb can serve his hand-crafted lattes, made with freshly-roasted Counter Culture beans. He’s so confident that his coffee is superior to any other in Georgetown—especially Star-whats-his-face—he’ll only make you pay if you agree.
Coffee flavors will change by the day, and each cup is finished with a design zig-zagged into the frothy milk. Robb doesn’t employ fancy tools for this—just his wrist (using anything else, he says, would be cheating).
But that doesn't mean he's slacking in the frozen dessert department. Even though it's not peak fruit season right now, you can still get fresh batches of Dolcezza's Argentinian-style gelato. Look for varieties using spices, chocolates and nut blends, such as Saigon cinnamon–flavored with the Vietnamese spice and barely anything else–dark chocolate, and Georgia butter pecan.
Robb does have a few fruits to work with—apples and pears—and he's kicking them up with liquor. He blends Calvados, apple brandy, with three kinds of apples–Honeycrisp, Stayman, and Gala. The result is sorbet with a full-fledged zing–sweet, sour, and savory at the same time. He also liquors up the Bosc pears with bourbon, and in a few weeks, he'll spike his Meyer lemon sorbet with vodka.
Dolcezza, 1560 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-4646; dolcezzagelato.com. Robb Duncan tracks his experimentation with new flavors on his Gelato-ology blog (gelato-ology.blogspot.com).