All-Day Tigerella Opening Soon With Pastries, Pickle Pizza, and Pasta

Also: sister restaurant Elle has a new chef.

TIgerella croissants. Photograph courtesy TIgerella.

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The team behind Mount Pleasant bakery and restaurant Elle will begin opening their new all-day spot, Tigerella, in Foggy Bottom’s new Western Market food hall this week. The cafe plans to launch with morning coffee, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches on Wednesday, July 20 (pending final inspections), while the dining room will debut a lunch and evening menu with grandma-style pizzas, pastas, and day-long happy hour in the coming weeks.

Chef Vincent Falcone describes the food at Tigerella—which gets its name from an heirloom variety of tomato—as “Italian-ish” though “not Italian in definition.” And like Elle, it’s all about the carbs. Baker Andrew Myers will continue to bake fresh sourdough-based breads on-site (though loaves will not be sold for retail like they are at Elle, at least for now). You’ll also find sweet and savory scones, biscuits, cookies, and other baked goods alongside Elle staples like smoked salmon toast or a folded omelette and cheddar sandwich with brisket add-on.

Grab-and-go options will include a muffuletta sandwich and salads (like a brassicas Caesar), plus bottled hot sauce, fermented mustard, and dried pasta. The all-day menu, coming soon, will feature thick-cut pizzas with pillowy soft dough and crispy cheese around the edges. Beyond traditional mozzarella and pepperoni toppings, an assortment of pickles—fennel, onions, and dill pickles—are baked into a garlicky double-cream white sauce. An Arcobaleno pasta extruder set up in the front window will turn out fresh pastas such as bigoli with a “luscious and creamy” cultured butter and tomato sauce and a dollop of fresh ricotta. Other plates range from fried artichokes with lemon-and-caper aioli to a summer vegetable tartine. The food will be matched with an all-day happy hour, spritzes, and “fun” wines.

Former Elle chef Brad DeBoy remains a partner in Tigerella and is helping with the opening. DeBoy left his previous roles after an allegation of sexual misconduct earlier this year. (The allegation and the restaurant’s response to it have both since been deleted from social media.) Co-owner Nick Pimentel says DeBoy “stepped down to concentrate on his health and his path towards sobriety.”

Over at Elle, former sous chef Harrison Dickow has taken over as executive chef. Dickow, who previously worked at Tail Up Goat and Reveler’s Hour, is continuing the restaurant’s focus on fermentation. Among the current menu highlights: koji-cured beef tartare with egg yolk jam and pickled ramps, pimento cheese arancini, and a dish with cucumbers that are pickled, raw, and grilled served with whipped honey, pickled coriander seeds, and queso fresco.

The restaurant also has a new $75 five-course tasting menu, starring a half-chicken that’s cured in koji, smoked, and rubbed in Duke’s mayo before it’s roasted and dipped in a jus-based gravy. The whole process takes four or five days.

“It’s something that is very simple, very approachable, very satisfying, but at the same time there is a little bit of technique involved,” Dickow says. “My whole focus for the Elle menu is I would like to have everything very approachable for any level of diner, but anyone who maybe knows a thing or two gets to notice the fun extra things we’re doing.”

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.