Le Caprice DC French Bakery Gets New Espresso Machine in Columbia Heights

Le Caprice DC recently opened up at 3460 14th St, NW in Columbia Heights. So far the buzz has been phenomenal with one caveat – the coffee. I’m happy to report that Le Caprice DC has now acquired a UNIC Espresso maker, apparently the Cadillac of espresso makers. Anyone try it out yet?

To be honest I’m still most excited about this:

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  • I did not, but my S.O. said the coffee was much-improved from the first visit.

    The entire operation continues to impress: this place is really top-notch. I’ve had an absolutely stellar blueberry muffin and fantastic chocolate, ham and cheese, and plain croissants. The only thing that didn’t bowl me over was the quiche, certainly pretty good, but not as light / fluffy as would be optimal. Have yet to try the baguettes but they look yummy. And I love seeing the fresh baked goods being prepared. I was there on a Saturday moring and there was a big line, I can’t imagine a scenario where this business is not an immense success story. Glad to have them here in CH.

  • I personally would not want the Cadillac of anything. As far as espresso machines are concerned, La Marzocco is the gold standard.

    • I’m personally against gold standards, mostly just to be contrarian.

    • sunsquashed

      Yeah, but a La Marzocco machine will need someone with barista experience to use it properly, while the UNIC is closer to idiot-proof. My S.O. also reported that the coffee was much improved this morning (a bit of a dig that I wasn’t awake early enough to make her coffee myself).

    • +1.

      Honestly, if I walk into a coffee shop and don’t see a La Marzocco, I will just not order espresso. It’s what 5 years in the pacific northwest will do to you.

      • Seriously. If it’s not a La Marzocco, I’ll even spend half a day complaining about the place on the internet, and then go ride my bike downtown.

      • Tha comment is a scene from Portlandia. But you are totally true. Working on a La Marzocco is 100 times more fun then some poke and press/glorified soda fountain. If i didn’t have bills to pay (and if the dream of the 90s was alive in DC) I’d still be a barista – one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had.

  • Went on Monday last week for the first time. Chocolate croissant was v. good. Coffee was meh. Had a latte. Coffee milk ratio was off, or expresso was not made properly. Milk was too hot, so the milk was scorched and off-flavored (but not as much over heated as most other coffee shops).

    Not sure when they got the new machine. If it was in the last week, then I look forward to trying the coffee again. If they were already using it when I was there, then I hope the staff gets some better training.

    Another thing I found off putting was the rack of potato chips and candy at the check out. Just seems off at a french bakery.

  • I’d just like the place to bake more bread. I’ve been there a few times and have yet to see a baguette.

  • I decided to walk over. They have baguettes right now. The quiche is tasty. The microwave heating, paper plates, and plastic utensils seem out of place. Croissant was decent.

  • Hands down the best baguettes in the city. No wonder they fly off the shelf. My fav are the mini focaccias. Also, maybe the friendliest staff ever.

  • Really nice review of the place in today’s WaPo Food section.

    www dot washingtonpost dot com/gog/restaurants/le-caprice-dc-cafe-and-bakery,1222242/critic-review.html

  • went sunday. pan au chocolat blew my mind, latte was good, and brioche tasted like it had been sitting out since yesterday.

  • All I’ve had is the baguette. It’s the best one I’ve gotten in DC, so it may be all I ever have from there, because I love me some baguette. So happy they’ve opened.

  • My latte wasn’t bad. Not the best, but I’d get one again. I was disappointed by my pain au chocolat, but it may have just been sitting out too long. I’ll have to try first thing in the morning.

  • who cares about coffee when there are quality baguettes to be eaten

  • I have enjoyed their baguettes, chocolate and almond croissants and last night we got a raisin walnut loaf. What was not finished off at dinner was toasted for breakfast, yum! As far as the coffee, people it is a BAKERY. It is wonderful if their coffee is great/good, but it all about the baked goods for me. There are coffee places all around the neighborhood but bakeries not too many. I have enjoyed making my own expresso/cappuccino at home with my La Pavoni for past last 30 years. You newbies to the coffee scene make me laugh.

  • saf

    I love this place. It is my new favorite.

  • Maybe my expectations were too high, but their pastries are not very good, by French standards. Sorry. The chocolate croissant is bready and doughy rather than buttery and flakey. The raisin escargots I’ve had (tried them twice) were stale and similarly lacking. The vegetables quiche I tried was delicious, just out of the oven but smaller than a lunch portion, rather a small thin square that would be half a french lunch quiche serving, and this is coming from a French person.

    I would love to try their almond croissants but they never had them the 3 times I was there.

    Paul might be a chain, but their food is better. Crap, I wish I didn’t have to say that.

    • I am surprised to hear you prefer Paul. I found Paul to be WAY overhyped and I MUCH preferred the pastries I tried from Le Caprice.

  • Interesting that you thought the chocolate croissant was bready. I find that is the usual flaw with DC attempts at pain au chocolate, but my one try at this place the pastry was flaky and buttery — lots of flakes of pastry crackling all over my sweater…

    Need to get there to try the bread and hope the new coffee machine is a success. (Yes, I can make coffee at home on my Pavoni too, but it looks like they are going to have out door seating and such, so they need to know how to make a good coffee).

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