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Yellow debuts dinner service on Friday, September 22.
Rey Lopez for Yellow

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Georgetown’s Acclaimed Levantine Cafe Yellow Enters the Dinner Game

Chef Michael Rafidi unleashes fiery pies, harissa hummus, and dirty chai espresso martinis after 4 p.m.

Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Nine months after making its morning-to-midday debut in Georgetown, decorated chef Michael Rafidi’s hot Levantine cafe Yellow is ready to introduce dinner for the first time starting tonight.

Burnt eggplant joins kefta, ricotta, fire-roasted Jimmy Nardello peppers, grano padano, and urfa chili crisp.
Rey Lopez for Yellow

The Palestinian American chef is best known in D.C. for his work at high-end Albi, Navy Yard’s coal-fired Middle Eastern marvel with a Michelin star and numerous accolades. For Yellow Georgetown’s dinnertime debut, he dresses things down a bit with a “(not) pizza” menu that took some time to perfect.

Sourdough takes trips through a wood-burning oven at 700 degrees to produce a parade of four opening pies that bring the heat. One is a harissa-heavy compilation with spicy cherry tomato, smoked jibne, and basil, and each 12-inch circular order can be topped with add-ons like soujek, kefta, or pickled chilis. The 60-seat dining room with a patio offers dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (1524 Wisconsin Avenue NW). Snag a seat online.

Yellow chef Michael Rafidi sends hand-tossed dough through a yellow mosaic-tiled oven.
Rey Lopez for Yellow
The Soujek pie features smoked jibne, sweet corn, pickled chilis, za’atar honey, and oregano.
Rey Lopez for Yellow

For starters — or “not pizza” — there’s smoky Palestinian olives dressed with Levantine pickles; hummus three ways (za’atar-blasted, harissa, or smoked brisket) paired with fluffy pita bread; charred corn labne with a kick from green shatta hot sauce; a fattoush salad bursting with peaches, cucumber, mint and feta; urfa hot mushrooms with scallion sumac labne; and sfeeha (lamb meat pie with garlic sauce).

Wrap the meal with soft serve labne with smoked stone fruit and oat crumbs, tahini, affogato, and a twist of baklava and pistachio brown butter. For booze, look for Persian lagers, cider, natural and sparkling Lebanese wines by the glass or bottle, and riffs on classic cocktails like a dirty chai espresso martini, shawarma-spiced Manhattan, and gin and tonic with hints of sumac, pomegranate, and molasses. An apricot spritz plays with pisco, brandy, and Topo Chico, while Lebanon’s anise-flavored spirit arak makes its way into a lemonade, rum, and orange blossom elixir.

Soft serve labne at Yellow.
Rey Lopez for Yellow
Yellow kickstarts cocktail service in Georgetown.
Rey Lopez for Yellow

Yellow continues to start the day at 8 a.m. with golden date lattes, flaky pastries and croissants combining French techniques with Middle Eastern flavors, meze, and wood-fired pita sandwiches for both dine-in and carryout. With the addition of dinner, Yellow now serves every square meal of the day.

Yellow’s harissa-heavy pie brings the heat at night.
Rey Lopez for Yellow

The Georgetown neighborhood continues to explode with new daytime options as of late, with recent arrivals from NYC imports like Maman and Blank Street Coffee. The third D.C. locale of Baker’s Daughter is coming to Wisconsin Avenue NW soon.

Meanwhile, Rafidi’s original Yellow locale in Navy Yard is back online after a long hiatus. The pint-sized cafe next to Albi revived service in September with urfathing bagels, baklava kouign amanns, and halva honey lattes from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (1346 4th Street SE).

Rey Lopez for Yellow
Rey Lopez for Yellow
Summer squash (top right), features burnt onion cream, green shatta, caciocavallo, smoked feta, and serrano chilis.
Rey Lopez for Yellow
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