Calling All Cheese Lovers: Take an Exclusive Look at GCDC’s Menus (Photos)

Plus see what you’ll eat at the March opening.

GCDC will open in March as a grilled-cheese shop by day and wine bar at night. Photographs by Andrew Propp.

A grilled-cheese shop by day and wine bar by night is, surprisingly, not a concept many Washington restaurateurs have tackled. So when it was announced last year that GCDC would open blocks from the White House, we were curious to see what melty goodness was planned. The projected February opening has been pushed to early March, but father-and-son owners Bruce and Steven Klores shared a sneak peek of the pre-opening menus with us (see below).

The evening menu includes small plates such as this salad with feta, fennel, and orange, as well as cheese boards with unusual pairings.

In the afternoon the 42-seat shop will operate as a fast-casual lunch spot, with a menu featuring a variety of classic and unusual grilled cheeses. Many of the latter riff on well-known dishes or sandwiches, such as the Grilled Carbonara—a gooey blend of Gruyère, goat cheese, leeks, and pancetta—or the Kim-Cheese Steak, which mixes cheddar with Korean-style beef and locally made Number 1 Sons kimchee. The house tomato soup can be ordered in a miniature serving as a dipping sauce, or by the bowl. (Vegans, take note: This is one of the few dairy-free options.)

Many of the creative grilled cheeses riff on dishes like carbonara, or sandwiches such as this Mexican cemita with chorizo and avocado.

Evenings bring no less fromage, but a few more options. Cheese master Sophie Slesinger garnered a Zagat “30-under-30” inclusion last year for her work at New York’s Saxelby Cheesemongers, and now works with GCDC procuring a seasonal variety of Manchegos and Goudas, blues and Robiolas. Cheese plates are paired with drink suggestions such as bourbon and Champagne, as well as more unusual condiments than the ubiquitous fig spread; think bloomy Boucheron with lemon curd or aged Gouda with pumpkin butter. The crew also teamed up with Righteous Cheese in Union Market for a weekly rotating special of whatever’s exciting on the shelves.

(Left) The bread pudding. (Right) There are plenty of wines, but you can also sip an egg cream spiked with whipped-cream vodka.

Charcuterie boards and a handful of small plates round out the food menu; the beverage options include about 20 beers along with the wines, from Chapeau Apricot Lambic to Miller High Life. There are also cocktails such as an egg cream spiked with whipped-cream vodka. For a truly un-stodgy experience, order one alongside a bowl of tots, served two ways: American-style, as “nachos,” or Canadian-style, with a poutine-esque mix of bacon, cheese curds, and gravy.

Vegan tomato soup can be ordered by the bowl or as a miniature side for dunking.

GCDC. 1730 Pennsylvania Ave.; 202-393-4232. Opening early March.

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.