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El Centro D.F.
El Centro D.F.
Photo: R. Lopez

New, Over-the Top Desserts to Try NOW

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El Centro D.F.
| Photo: R. Lopez

With the opening of several new restaurants and menus in DC, Eater decided it was time to scope out the most indulgent desserts. Turns out the variety of dishes is as high as the calorie counts.

In this Eater Heat Map, find bananas tres leches served with passion fruit sauce, Nutella and marshmallow pizza, and a brown butter and walnut encrusted pear, poached in honey and Tecate beer (yep, that's right). These desserts are either from new restaurants, or are creations recently added to the menu at established places.

Pastry chefs are getting creative with dessert — some are even recreating their favorite candy bars. With so much variation going into this final course, it's probably best not to pass on the dessert menu these days.
—Tim Ebner


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. El Centro D.F.

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1218 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
202-328-3131
To satisfy a sweet tooth, Richard Sandoval’s latest restaurant, El Centro Georgetown, serves a bananas tres leches cake. It’s topped with passion fruit sauce and toasted meringue.

2. Le Diplomate

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1610 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 332-3333
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Dive into the crème brûlée at Le Diplomate. This dessert has a thin sugar crust on top and comes served with a French biscuit cookie on the side.

3. NoPa Kitchen + Bar

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800 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 347-4667
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For something that looks as indulgent as it tastes, NoPa serves a coconut chocolate bar. Chef Jemil Gadea takes a page from some of his favorite candy bars: mainly, the Kit Kat, Crunch bar, and Mounds bar. He hand makes his chocolate bar from coconut macaroons, Bavarian chocolate, and cocoa butter, and then, he tops it with caramel-chocolate ice cream and more coconut.

4. Osteria Marzano

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6361 Walker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22313
(703) 313-9700
Have a weakness for Nutella? Osteria Marzano has a Nutella Pizza on the dessert menu. The pizza is a gooey heap of Nutella, pistachio, sea salt, whipped mascarpone, and marshmallows.

5. Taberna Del Alabardero

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1776 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 429-2200
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Those opting for the cheese plate for dessert at this Spanish institution will get something a little less traditional. Chef Javier Romero's creation includes whipped marscapone, bleu cheese ice cream, homemade cotton candy and more.

6. Palena

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3529 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 537-9250
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Palena’s new coffee shop concept opened on Wednesday. The counter is covered with trays of sweets, including chocolate popovers that come from chef Frank Ruta’s White House days. But, for a truly indulgent dish, pastry chef Aggie Chin recommends the peanut butter-chocolate bûche. It can be found in the pastry case by the cash register. The bûche is a dark chocolate mousse with a peanut butter filling. The dessert or snack (however you look at it) is covered with chocolate glaze and topped with salted peanuts and cocoa crunchies.

7. Range

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5335 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015
(202) 803-8020
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The latest addition to the dessert menu at Range is their caramel custard. The caramel pot du creme comes with a pear, fig, almond cake and a chocolate stout sauce.

8. Rose's Luxury

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717 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003
Aaron Silverman is taking his creative mindset to dessert. The kitchen whips up a baby seckle pear that is poached in Tecate beer and caramelized honey. It’s then crusted in a brown butter and walnut crumble and served with smoked mascarpone and chamomile and honey ice.

9. Ted's Bulletin

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1818 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 265-8337
There’s an expanded bakery selection at Ted’s Bulletin on 14th Street. Pastry chef Kelsey Pitta’s Pop Tarts are easy to spot, but go for the new, fall apple cider donut. It’s topped with apple chips then coated in a sugar glaze. Or, there’s the “millionaire bar,” a house made chocolate bar made from pressed graham cracker, and frozen caramel then coated in dark chocolate and topped with sea salt.

10. GBD (Golden Brown Delicious)

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1323 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 524-5210
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Tiffany MacIsaac recently created an oreo doughnut for GBD. The chef walked her fans through the creation process on her blog.

11. Doi Moi

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1800 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 733-5131
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Soft serve ice cream may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking, "Southeast Asian restaurant," but Doi Moi has been experimenting with the dessert since the beginning. Early unique flavors included banana black cardamom and Blue Bottle coffee.

1. El Centro D.F.

1218 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
To satisfy a sweet tooth, Richard Sandoval’s latest restaurant, El Centro Georgetown, serves a bananas tres leches cake. It’s topped with passion fruit sauce and toasted meringue.
1218 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007

2. Le Diplomate

1610 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Dive into the crème brûlée at Le Diplomate. This dessert has a thin sugar crust on top and comes served with a French biscuit cookie on the side.
1610 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

3. NoPa Kitchen + Bar

800 F St NW, Washington, DC 20004
For something that looks as indulgent as it tastes, NoPa serves a coconut chocolate bar. Chef Jemil Gadea takes a page from some of his favorite candy bars: mainly, the Kit Kat, Crunch bar, and Mounds bar. He hand makes his chocolate bar from coconut macaroons, Bavarian chocolate, and cocoa butter, and then, he tops it with caramel-chocolate ice cream and more coconut.
800 F St NW
Washington, DC 20004

4. Osteria Marzano

6361 Walker Lane, Alexandria, VA 22313
Have a weakness for Nutella? Osteria Marzano has a Nutella Pizza on the dessert menu. The pizza is a gooey heap of Nutella, pistachio, sea salt, whipped mascarpone, and marshmallows.
6361 Walker Lane
Alexandria, VA 22313

5. Taberna Del Alabardero

1776 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006
Those opting for the cheese plate for dessert at this Spanish institution will get something a little less traditional. Chef Javier Romero's creation includes whipped marscapone, bleu cheese ice cream, homemade cotton candy and more.
1776 I St NW
Washington, DC 20006

6. Palena

3529 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Palena’s new coffee shop concept opened on Wednesday. The counter is covered with trays of sweets, including chocolate popovers that come from chef Frank Ruta’s White House days. But, for a truly indulgent dish, pastry chef Aggie Chin recommends the peanut butter-chocolate bûche. It can be found in the pastry case by the cash register. The bûche is a dark chocolate mousse with a peanut butter filling. The dessert or snack (however you look at it) is covered with chocolate glaze and topped with salted peanuts and cocoa crunchies.
3529 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

7. Range

5335 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015
The latest addition to the dessert menu at Range is their caramel custard. The caramel pot du creme comes with a pear, fig, almond cake and a chocolate stout sauce.
5335 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20015

8. Rose's Luxury

717 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Aaron Silverman is taking his creative mindset to dessert. The kitchen whips up a baby seckle pear that is poached in Tecate beer and caramelized honey. It’s then crusted in a brown butter and walnut crumble and served with smoked mascarpone and chamomile and honey ice.
717 8th St SE
Washington, DC 20003

9. Ted's Bulletin

1818 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
There’s an expanded bakery selection at Ted’s Bulletin on 14th Street. Pastry chef Kelsey Pitta’s Pop Tarts are easy to spot, but go for the new, fall apple cider donut. It’s topped with apple chips then coated in a sugar glaze. Or, there’s the “millionaire bar,” a house made chocolate bar made from pressed graham cracker, and frozen caramel then coated in dark chocolate and topped with sea salt.
1818 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

10. GBD (Golden Brown Delicious)

1323 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tiffany MacIsaac recently created an oreo doughnut for GBD. The chef walked her fans through the creation process on her blog.
1323 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036

11. Doi Moi

1800 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
Soft serve ice cream may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking, "Southeast Asian restaurant," but Doi Moi has been experimenting with the dessert since the beginning. Early unique flavors included banana black cardamom and Blue Bottle coffee.
1800 14th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

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