Buffalo & Bergen Will Have a “Carb Bar” at New Cleveland Park Location

Danishes and dinner bites join the lineup of bagels and cocktails.

Buffalo & Bergen's lox sandwich. Photograph by Rey Lopez.

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Buffalo & Bergen is known for its New York water bagels and handmade knishes—along with classic egg creams and brunchy cocktails. At its third location, coming to Cleveland Park early next year, owner Gina Chersevani is further embracing all things deliciously doughy with an expanded menu including old-school pastries, nostalgic dinner bites, and a dedicated “carb bar” overlooking the baking station.

The location, taking over a former California Tortilla, will be Buffalo and Bergen’s biggest yet. Like its Capitol Hill and Union Market counterparts, the new locale will offer New York deli staples like pastrami on rye, matzo ball soup, and lox and cream cheese. Chersevani will also continue to import dough from A&S Bagels in Long Island City then proof and bake the bagels on-site; She is a big believer that New York water makes superior bagels.

But more space also means more offerings. Mornings will bring a full lineup of danishes with lemon-poppyseed, cheese, and elusive prune fillings. The spot will also have a full coffee bar using beans from veteran-run Stage Line Coffee Roasters in Maryland, plus quirky drinks like a bananas foster latte.

“I love danishes.  I don’t even know why danishes ever went out of style,” Chersevani says. “Nothing seems more classic New York than some oversized danish in one hand and a hot coffee in the other.”

Later in the spring, Buffalo & Bergen will expand its evening offerings with “dinner-esque” plates: “You know, you can’t make up your mind what you want to eat. And you don’t want to eat something fancy—that kind of stuff.”

Think upgraded Hot Pockets or stuffed meatloaf. Chersevani plans to serve her Italian grandma’s version of the latter made with a meatball mix of veal and pork, a hardboiled egg in the center, and layers of prosciutto, provolone, and rosemary ham. Chersevani says her grandma would slice the meatloaf super thin then serve it over cold over crunchy bread with a warm red-sauce gravy on top.

To go with it all the carbs—and yes, some gluten-free options—expect classic fountain drinks, ice cream floats, and cocktails. Buffalo & Bergen serves a mean bloody Mary, but you’ll also find classics and Chersevani’s own creations.

The space will have black and white New York vibes with a 12-foot bar. But the best seat in the house might just be the four-seat “carb bar” overlooking to mixers and oven where everything is freshly baked. Chersevani also imagines using the counter for guest chef events—or her own cooking whims.

Another bit of news is that Chersevani’s husband, Neil Dundee, will be joining the business as an official partner. The longtime hospitality industry veteran was most recently director of operations for Boqueria in DC and Chicago.

“When it’s your family business, I feel like it becomes really a part of your fibers of that family,” Chersevani says. “I’m super excited to open a restaurant with him and have our ideas combined a little bit more and stretch out what Buffalo & Bergen is now.”

Buffalo & Bergen. 3501 Connecticut Ave., NW.

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.