A Focaccia Sandwich Snack Bar and Market Is Opening Next to All-Purpose Pizza in Shaw

The Italian sandwich spot replaces Buttercream Bakeshop.

Abruzzo sandwich with prosciutto, soppressata, roasted peppers, red onion agrodolce, zucchini, and arugula. Photograph courtesy Fossette Focacceria.

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Fossette Focacceria. 1250 Ninth St., NW.

Open Wednesday through Sunday from 8 AM to 3 PM.

The team behind All-Purpose Pizza in Shaw is taking over the space next door—previously occupied by Buttercream Bakeshop—for a more casual sandwich shop and market. Fossette Focacceria will specialize in focaccia sandwiches, but will also open early for coffee and pastries and sell Italian goods and pizza kits into the late afternoon. It opens Friday, June 28.

The concept is inspired by chef-owner Mike Friedman first job working in a New Jersey deli as a teenager as well as the Tuscan-style focaccia sandwiches that have become popular across Europe, but aren’t well represented in DC. At home during the pandemic, Friedman says he turned to baking focaccia with his young daughters. “Their favorite part: they’d oil up their fingers and do the little dimples in the bread. Fosette translates to dimples. So it’s a little homage to them,” he says.

All sandwiches are served on house-baked focaccia. Photograph courtesy Fossette Focacceria.

At breakfast, starting at 8 AM, the light, airy square bread will hold together fillings like bacon, scrambled eggs, fontina cheese, and roasted cherry tomatoes or mortadella, stracciatella, black truffle honey, and arugula. You’ll also find pastries, including mascarpone cinnamon buns and polenta-lemon ricotta cake, alongside espresso drinks made from Portland-based Coava Coffee, which roasts its beans to order.

Lunch sandwiches are meatier, such as the “Italiano” loaded with classic hoagie deli meats as well as the “Testaccio” with braised short ribs in a rich tomato sauce, horseradish, and parmesan cream. There are also vegetarian options including an eggplant Milanese with mozzarella, roasted tomatoes, and fresh basil. Eventually, the menu may expand to include salads or other snacks. While everything is packaged for takeout, there’s a small marble countertop to stand and drink your espresso or have a bite.

The shelves will be stocked with Italian pastas, olive oils, vinegars, and more. Photograph courtesy Fossette Focacceria.

The cafe doubles as a market stocked with some of Friedman’s favorite Italian products, including many he that uses in his restaurants. To start, look for pastas, salumi, cheeses, olive oils, vinegars, jams, wines, beers, San Carlo potato chips, and sweets like black-cherry-and-chocolate biscotti or pistachio-lemon cookies. In the coming weeks, Friedman hopes to begin packaging some of All-Purpose’s sauces, including its roasted-tomato marinara and feta ranch, as well as its Caesar dressing, Calabrian chili honey, Italian vinaigrette, and more. Fossette Focacceria’s space already shares a basement kitchen with All-Purpose so the expansion will also allow the restaurant group to do more catering.

“The other goal is to find a way to make our little block in Shaw a little bit more vibrant,” Friedman says. “We’re in the post-pandemic age, and we’d love to be able to bring some foot traffic back to the area and have a great neighborhood anchor space.”

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.