A Fishmonger, Gelato Purveyor and Wine Bar: Chef Jenn Crovato’s Favorite DC Spots
When she’s not running 1310 Kitchen & Bar, here’s where Crovato loves to eat, drink and unwind
Born and raised in the D.C. area, Jenn Crovato of 1310 Kitchen & Bar has been a food entrepreneur pretty much her whole life. Influenced in part by her mother, who ran a small catering company, and her grandfather, who was a professional baker, Crovato launched her first food business in middle school,tea when she started making homemade pepperoni rolls and selling them in the teachers’ lounge at White Oak Middle School in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Her path took her to the Culinary Institute of America (the Harvard of cooking schools) and a mentorship with the renowned Italian restaurateur Chef Roberto Donna, formerly of I Matti and Galileo. In 2013, she penned Olive Oil, Sea Salt & Pepper: Healing with Fresh Foods, a Mediterranean-style cookbook, before opening 1310 Kitchen & Bar, the restaurant attached to the Georgetown Inn, and launching Jenn’s Homemade, freezer-to-oven meals that were a pandemic pivot borne out of a fundraising event.
Paying homage to strong women who forged careers in male-dominated professions, the walls of Crovato’s restaurant are covered with photos of female rock stars and her cocktails are named for hits by music legends like Stevie Nicks. “I love the strength of these badass women,” Crovato says. “I want to celebrate them every way I can as I do my part in the continuum of their breakthrough achievements.”
Crovato also believes in supporting other women in the food business. She is a member of the newly launched Regarding Her, a national organization supporting women-owned businesses in the food and hospitality industry. Re:HER raises funds for small business grants, mentorship and resources to empower food entrepreneurs.
“I am excited to be part of this movement, advocating for and supporting the incredibly talented women within our industry,” she says, noting that collaboration in the D.C. food scene is important. “I love sourcing amazing products and working with local culinary artisans who are doing such interesting work.” Her breakfast menu features local favorites like granola from Baked & Wired and bagels from Call Your Mother.
We asked Crovato about her favorite spots in town — from breakfast all the way through late-night drinks — and she didn’t disappoint.
Morning Coffee and Gelato: Dolcezza
“I love to start my morning with a dulce de leche alfajor and cappuccino.” This classic Argentinian cookie is made with corn flour and dulce de leche filling and delicately wrapped in coconut flakes. “Delicious and decadent, it’s the perfect way to start the day.” While she’s there, Crovato says it’s “hard to resist” picking up a few pints of gelato. Her favorites are Grapefruit Campari, Pineapple Honey Lime and Coconut with Dulce de Leche. “The husband and wife team behind this project are incredibly talented!”
Lunch (and/or Dinner): The District Fishwife
Fiona Lewis of the District Fishwife at Union Market is a full-service fishmonger with fresh daily product from local and regional suppliers. Her team also butchers in-house. “I recommend sampling whatever Lewis recommends, this always encourages me to be adventurous.” The kitchen is open daily, so you can stop in for made-to-order dishes if you want to skip the cooking.
Wine and Cheese: Cork Wine Bar and Market
“I love visiting Cork! Whether it’s picking up a bottle of wine, restocking on essentials from the market or meeting a friend to catch up,” says Crovato. Her favorites include the house-made chicken liver pate, charcuterie and cheese platter. “The Benoit Badoz Crémant du Jura NV is a sparkling rosé that works with everything. When I go out I typically drink bubbles!”
Dinner: La Collina
On Capitol Hill, La Collina’s inspiration draws from classic Italian osterias and the simplicity of their cuisine. “I love it because it is a great gathering spot to connect over a generous bowl of pasta. I recommend the Ora King Salmon Crudo with radish, dill and serrano pepper as well as the classic rigatoni and lamb.” While the wine list is small, she says it’s “thoughtfully curated with a small yet superb selection of Italian reds and whites. You can’t go wrong pairing a Sangiovese with pasta.”
Dessert: Buttercream Bakeshop
While the shop is currently closed for walk-ins, they are taking custom and online orders. “I have missed stopping by for specialty desserts and breakfast treats — like their signature Cinnascones. But I love that they are offering baking kits so people can recreate these buttery scones with dark brown sugar and cinnamon glaze at home. And for special occasions, it’s the ultimate destination for a celebration cake. It’s like edible art!”
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