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Reservations Recommended

Restaurant Review ~ La Jolie Bleu / 1560 Wisconsin Ave., NW

Appropriately called “the pretty blue,” the very recently opened La Jolie Bleu in Georgetown will emerge as a magnet for people looking for fresh Mediterranean savory and sweet pastries and tempting beverages. A family-owned business that has had several years of experience selling at local farmers markets, this bright, sparkly place will be familiar for sweets eaters;;it is the former home of the DC gelato pioneer, Dolcezza Gelato.

photo–Alexandra Greeley.

And indeed, the Algerian Slimani family runs every aspect of this appealing bakeshop. The son, Samy, helps patrons at the front counter; the father, Tahar, handles the delicious savories; and the mom, Djamila, bakes all the tempting sweets (except the baklavathat dad makes), including the cookies and slices of what resembles pound cake (and some pieces have chocolate bits!).

Mom also composes the fresh drinks — undeniably the most appealing in the summer weather is the lime drink with fresh lime juice, English cucumbers, mint, and fresh ginger blended with crushed ice. It is so refreshing that even if the temperature were 20 degrees below zero it would delight the palate.

But where to begin? The two countertop glass cases showcase the store’s eats: the savories made of puff pastry that wraps around assorted fillings include a seafood wrap (shrimp, calamari, and more); a kofta wrap with lamb and beef and served with tzatziki dipping sauce; plus other fillings, other flavors, including spanakopita. Patrons are obviously faced with what and how many to select; the clever decision is to order several for eat-in and take-home enjoyment.

Of course, picking the right sweet for the moment may mean picking several choices: why not the chocolate chip pound cake, baklava, and tiramisu? Beverages also include espresso, coffee, and the icy drinks.

Patrons can take home their edible treasures, but there is eat-in seating at the counter by the front window, giving a first-hand view of Wisconsin Avenue pedestrian activity. There is also upstairs seating, probably a great place for a small family gathering.

According to the son, Samy, the family is considering two further business options: expanding and possibly joining forces with Dolcezza Gelato. Selling that ice cream would bring back many fond Georgetown memories; but maybe, possibly, La Jolie Bleu might bring its savories to Dolcezza Gelato, which has many metro area locations. Sounds like a perfect business plan!

(Note: Samy said that presently all the paper menus are depleted but he plans to post an online menu for patrons.)

La Jolie Bleu / Hours: 11am-9pm daily. (202) 629-1641.

 

 

Alexandra Greeley is a food writer, editor, and restaurant reviewer. She has authored books on Asian and Mexican cuisines published by Simon & Schuster, Doubleday, and Macmillan. Other credits include restaurant reviews and food articles for national and regional publications, as well as former editor of the Vegetarian Times and former food editor/writer for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Click here to visit her website.