Washington Post: Dolcezza branches out beyond gelato with new Mosaic District cafe

Originally published in Washington Post

Starting Friday, you will have not one, but two places in the Mosaic District to partake of fare from local favorites Dolcezza Gelato and Red Apron Butchery.

Both businesses have full-service shops in the Fairfax development. Now they’re collaborating on Mom & Pop, a new cafe concept created by Dolcezza husband-and-wife team Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman.

The 900-square-foot, glass-enclosed space previously housed Dolcezza’s coffee pop-up. It closed in January after about a year to make way for Mom & Pop.

“That pop-up was like the longest pop-up in the history of pop-ups,” Edelman said. With its replacement, “We wanted to feature our friends.”

Their own gelato will take a back seat to the rest of the offerings at Mom & Pop, named in part to reflect its origin as a family business. There will be a freezer of gelato push pops and pints, but if you want a scoop, you’ll need to cross the street and head to Dolcezza. Instead, expect to find pastries, sandwiches and other snacks, followed by meat and cheese boards that will be gradually rolled out over the next few weeks.

The suppliers are a veritable who’s who of the local food scene: Righteous Cheese, Gordy’s Pickle Jar, Kinderhook and Bluebird Bakery, just to name a few.

Of the smaller bites, Duncan said, “This is the stuff we like to eat.” The meat and cheese arrays are inspired by the picadas of Edelman’s native Argentina, essentially the South American country’s version of tapas.

As for the bigger bites, several come courtesy of Red Apron’s Nathan Anda, who is also providing antipasti such as olives, sun-dried tomatoes and marinated artichokes. Sandwiches will feature his pimento cheese and chicken salad.

To drink, Mom & Pop will highlight Stumptown Coffee. It will also serve nitro brew coffee, which Dolcezza first rolled out at its CityCenterDC location. On tap, expect white and red wines, prosecco and beer.

As to the possibility of any more Mom & Pop-style ventures, Edelman was quick to add, “We’re saying that it’s one of a kind.”

Mom & Pop, 2909 District Ave., Fairfax. 703-992-0050. dolcezzagelato.com. Opening July 3. 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.