Pastry Chef Rob Valencia Has Left Northside Social

The sweets master now calls Brooklyn home.

Northside Social’s chocolate-gingerbread cookies. Photograph by Chris Leaman.

We’ve been fans of pastry chef Rob Valencia since he helped open Northside Social, the Clarendon bakery/wine bar/cafe from the folks behind Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hall, in 2010. So we were sorry to learn he’s departed for the Chocolate Room in Brooklyn. Valencia, who worked in New York for eight years before coming here, says he missed the Big Apple and took an opportunity with the Park Slope-based dessert spot, which is expanding to include an ice cream shop.

But those who’ve become addicted to Northside’s chocolate-gingerbread cookies, blueberry crunch muffins, and brownies shouldn’t worry. Bridie McCulla, a mentee of Valencia’s who’s worked in the bakery for more than two years, is taking his place. Although there are no big changes afoot, the menu has received a few new items of late: sweet-corn soft serve, raspberry-rhubarb pop tarts, and an old-fashioned chocolate fudge pie. Weekend dessert plans: done.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.