Food

6 DC Area Dining Spots With Amazing Housemade Bread

Chefs are getting creative with loaves and spreads.

Focaccia at L'Ardente. Photograph by Jeff Elkins

Gone are the days—at many places—when a basket of baguette or sour-dough comes gratis. But in re­turn, many new kitchens are giving the bread course extra attention. Here’s where you’ll find superlative offerings to kick off a meal.

Melina

The new Pike & Rose Greek restaurant from the folks behind Cava frequently changes up its bread styles ($8). We’ve loved the crusty slabs of griddled sourdough baked by chef Aris Tsekouras. 905 Rose Ave., North Bethesda.

L’Ardente

Miniature loaves of warm, rosemary-scented focaccia ($7) come with a pot of creamy cannellini dip. 200 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

Dauphine’s

The New Orleans–inspired hot spot proffers a $10 platter of buttermilk biscuits, sweet-potato brioche, and baguette with cane-syrup-sweetened butter. 1100 15th St., NW.

La Bise

A major highlight at Ashok Bajaj’s latest restaurant: gougères ($10)—cheese puffs spilling with Comté. 800 Connecticut Ave., NW.

Michele’s

Matt Baker’s dining room in the Eaton hotel makes three kinds of bread, including scallion-flecked brioche with fermented-black-bean butter ($14) and olive-caper sourdough with caponata and tuna rillettes ($12). 1201 K St., NW.

Bread Alley

One of the best things about dining at the 14th Street French brasserie Le Diplomate is its breadbasket. Now you can stock up on those crusty baguettes, cranberry-walnut boules, and multigrain levain loaves at Bread Alley, its itsy-bitsy sibling bakery near Union Market. The inventory is limited and includes a couple of seasonal specialties, such as a recent chocolate/candied-orange-peel brioche, plus a handful of artisan butters and jams. Stop by on weekends for pastries, including a textbook chocolate croissant. 1250 Fifth St., NE.

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.