News & Politics

Hidden Eats: Larry Forgione’s Signature Cafe at Lord & Taylor

Retro sandwiches--near the shoes.

Honey, they’ve supersized the tea sandwiches at Lord & Taylor in Chevy Chase.

Used to be you’d get a triangle each of egg, tuna, and chicken salad plus a wedge of date nut bread with cream cheese. Together they added up to a whole sandwich. But that was when the eateries at L&T were known as the Bird Cage.

It’s a new day. Larry Forgione has taken over the restaurants now known as Larry Forgione’s Signature Cafes, and the sandwiches—a staple since the ’50s—have doubled in size. Though the price has gone up a couple of dollars, the ’50s-style, Junior League-ish fillers still ring retro—no capers in the tuna, no curry in the chicken salad. And they’re as delicious as ever.

In the old days, the triangles were served alongside tall, elegant glasses of rainbow-colored sherbet or a very grown-up salad bowl heaped with chicory lettuce, moundlets of shredded carrots and beets, and slivered radishes.

Now the tea sandwiches show up with fruit (unless you request a green salad), and a swirl of tart frozen yogurt that tastes like a leaner version of the yogurt gelato you find in Italy.

There’s no replicating the easy charm of that long-ago era, but there’s one thing the new supersized tea sandwich has over the old: It’s easier to share.

Larry Forgione's Signature Cafe at Lord & Taylor, 5255 Western Ave., NW; 202-362-9600.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.