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Aggie Chin's custom-made pastry cart at Mirabelle.
Aggie Chin's custom-made pastry cart at Mirabelle.
Mirabelle

Dessert Carts Are on a Roll in D.C.

Because you just can't say no, when dessert is right in front of you.

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Aggie Chin's custom-made pastry cart at Mirabelle.
| Mirabelle

There's an old-school dining trend that's making the rounds across the DMV. Dessert carts are making a comeback — and the latest restaurant to add mobile confectionaries into the mix is classically French newcomer Mirabelle.

Executive pastry chef Aggie Chin is the brains behind the push cart presentation. In her mind, a dessert cart harkens back to the days when dining out marked a special occasion. "I think things are moving back to formal, fine dining," Chin said. "For a while dining has been super casual, but I think its starting to come back from a bygone era. Dessert carts and cheese carts are great ways to have a fun interaction and show."

Although Mirabelle has only been open a few weeks, the dessert cart is already Insta-famous. And Chin's cart is not the only tasty train in town. Just one block away at The Lafayette, inside the Hay-Adams Hotel, the dessert trolley snakes between tables while diners look on in sweet anticipation. After all, who can say no to a Meyer lemon and mascarpone tart that melts in the mouth?

Dessert carts are not the only showstoppers. Cheese carts have been moving into the spotlight slowly but surely. The cow cart, named "Faira," at The Inn at Little Washington has an almost cult-like following. For local options try Plume's or Masseria's cheese trollies.

Regardless of whether it's stocked with cheese or chocolate, a dessert cart seems to be a great way to roll up sales. "Once the cart is in front of you, it's just hard to say no," Chin said.

In the mood for something sweet or savory? Indulge in a guilty pleasure by taking one of these carts for a spin.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Masseria

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1340 4th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 608-5959
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An assortment of cheeses arrives table-side at Nick Stefanelli's modern Italian restaurant. And, as it turns out, dessert cheese pairs really well with cannolis and Italian rainbow cookies. Choose three cheese for $18 or five for $25.

2. Le Diplomate

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1601 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 332-3333
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In the summer months, Le Diplomate wheels out a sorbet and glacés cart. It's a fun addition to the patio with flavors such as framboise and banana-passion fruit.

3. Plume

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1200 16th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 448-2300
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The cheese cart at Plume is not to be fooled around with. The daily cheese selection makes the rounds after the three-course, $102 prix fixe menu.

4. The Layfayette

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800 16th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 638-6600
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At lunch the dessert train pulls up to each table with several varieties of sweet puffed pastry. It's almost impossible to say no to the Meyer lemon and mascarpone tart.

5. Mirabelle

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900 16th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 506-3833
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Executive pastry chef Aggie Chin spent a lot of time menu testing for the roll out of her dessert cart, which features classic French desserts, like tarte tatin and gâteau filled with plum preserves.

6. Range

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5335 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20015
(202) 803-8020
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Chef de cuisine Shawn Matijevich stocks the smörgåsbord of sweets, which at any time features more than 25 different desserts, including confections, bon bons, and truffles. His current favorite dish is a yuzu meringue pie with miso graham cracker crust.

7. Inn at Little Washington

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309 Middle St
Washington, VA 22747
(540) 675-3800
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This is definitely not near D.C. It's destination dining, but the cheese cart at the Inn at Little Washington appears to be quite the mooo-ving experience among locals. The cheese cart is also a nice transition between savory and sweet, featuring more than 25 types of cheese.

1. Masseria

1340 4th St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002

An assortment of cheeses arrives table-side at Nick Stefanelli's modern Italian restaurant. And, as it turns out, dessert cheese pairs really well with cannolis and Italian rainbow cookies. Choose three cheese for $18 or five for $25.

1340 4th St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

2. Le Diplomate

1601 14th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20009

In the summer months, Le Diplomate wheels out a sorbet and glacés cart. It's a fun addition to the patio with flavors such as framboise and banana-passion fruit.

1601 14th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

3. Plume

1200 16th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036

The cheese cart at Plume is not to be fooled around with. The daily cheese selection makes the rounds after the three-course, $102 prix fixe menu.

1200 16th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

4. The Layfayette

800 16th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

At lunch the dessert train pulls up to each table with several varieties of sweet puffed pastry. It's almost impossible to say no to the Meyer lemon and mascarpone tart.

800 16th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

5. Mirabelle

900 16th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20006

Executive pastry chef Aggie Chin spent a lot of time menu testing for the roll out of her dessert cart, which features classic French desserts, like tarte tatin and gâteau filled with plum preserves.

900 16th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20006

6. Range

5335 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20015

Chef de cuisine Shawn Matijevich stocks the smörgåsbord of sweets, which at any time features more than 25 different desserts, including confections, bon bons, and truffles. His current favorite dish is a yuzu meringue pie with miso graham cracker crust.

5335 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20015

7. Inn at Little Washington

309 Middle St, Washington, VA 22747

This is definitely not near D.C. It's destination dining, but the cheese cart at the Inn at Little Washington appears to be quite the mooo-ving experience among locals. The cheese cart is also a nice transition between savory and sweet, featuring more than 25 types of cheese.

309 Middle St
Washington, VA 22747

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