First Look at Grilled Cheese Shop and Wine Bar GCDC
A new restaurant focused on cheese is preparing to open in mid-February, just a couple blocks from the White House. By day, GCDC will be a fast casual grilled cheese spot, while in the evenings it will be a place for the happy hour crowd to pair beers, wines, and cocktails with cheese and charcuterie boards.
GCDC, at 1730 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, comes from the father-son team Bruce and Steven Klores. Bruce, who's lived in D.C. since 1978, runs a medical malpractice law firm in Dupont and was looking for something new as he semiretires. "I've always loved food and serving people," Bruce says. "This is something I always wanted to do." Before he became a lawyer, Bruce spent his youth working odd jobs in the food industry, including selling hot dogs at the Statue of Liberty and bartending at now-shuttered Arbaugh's restaurant throughout law school.
Klores says he actually came up with the idea for the grilled cheese restaurant six or seven years ago, but with his son Steven's recent college graduation, the project finally got off the ground. Steven also has a passion for food, having worked in restaurants since he was 15.
Why grilled cheese? "Why not?" Bruce says. "People love grilled cheese. There's so many undiscovered ways to make it and do it. As I started talking about it to various people, no matter where they were from… everybody had a favorite grilled cheese sandwich."
GCDC plans to take its cheese quite seriously: The Klores duo have brought in cheesemonger Sophie Slesigner, who previously worked at Saxelby Cheesemongers in New York. (Zagat named the Bethesda native one of the New York food world's 30 under 30 up-and-comers this year.) GCDC will feature more than 20 domestic and international cheeses which will rotate in and out. "Cheese is seasonal just like vegetables," Slesigner says.
The menu will feature eight to 10 specialty sandwiches, including vegan options. Among the highlights: a French onion soup sandwich with gruyere and caramelized onions on sourdough as well as a lobster sandwich with l'amuse gouda and chives on sourdough. All the breads—ranging from multigrain to rosemary—will come from Lyon Bakery.
In addition to grilled cheese, the 45-seat restaurant (with 20 patio seats) will also serve salads, soups, and tater tots topped with the various cheeses. In the evenings, the menu will expand with more small plates, charcuterie, cheese boards, and grilled cheese squares (so you can try multiple offerings instead of a large sandwich). An "anything goes" sandwich will also be available, so diners can mix and match pretty much any ingredient in the menu for their grilled cheese.
GCDC will offer about 10 beers and 10 wines, plus cocktails, that are meant to pair with some of the cheeses. Nonalcoholic offerings will include Kona coffee, chocolate milk, and a classic egg cream—a nod to Bruce's South Brooklyn roots.
Check out more photos of the food:
GCDC, 1730 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; (202) 393-4232; grilledcheesedc.com
Photos courtesy GCDC