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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Crime log: Subject barred after shoplifting at bookstore
By Max Porter, Contributing News Editor • February 26, 2024

Dish of the Week: Happy Gemini’s olive oil and cocoa crumble gelato

At first, I thought the cocoa crumble may have just been on the top, but I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but four layers of cocoa crumble throughout the pint.

Located on one of Dupont Circle’s quaint side streets, Happy Gemini — a pizza joint, ice cream parlor and natural wine store trifecta — might just be the hippest shop you’ll step foot in all summer.

Happily sitting on 17th Street, Happy Gemini was aptly named after the astrological sign with the reputation of being “two-faced,” hinting at the shop’s inability to stick to one concrete idea. Open Tuesday through Saturday, the shop debuts rotating pint and half-pint ice cream flavors each week, along with a curated selection of vibrant natural wines and carry-out pizza at night.

Before the staircase into the shop sits a rolling ice cream cart promising “Happy Ice Cream” and serving up single ($6) and double ($8) scoops of ice cream into freshly made sourdough cones. The scoopable flavors vary from the pint and half-pint flavors sold inside and also rotate weekly. Curbside seating on small white tea tables is available, and large trees provide enough shade to comfortably enjoy ice cream and wine alike.

Eleanor Fitzgerald | Staff Photographer

I came to the shop at midday on one of D.C.’s sweltering summer Saturdays, so ice cream was exactly what I needed. Though I was set on taking home a pint, I conversed with the employee manning the cart about the flavors of the week and his time at GW.

The shop’s rotating scoopable offerings when I visited included Cavaillon Melon, Uber Banana, Currant Leaf and Basque Cheesecake, sold only in scoop form. Needless to say, the shop specializes in out-of-the-box flavor concoctions. 

I headed upstairs and inside the small but homey storefront. Exposed red brick lines the walls, and to the left of the entrance three shelves are filled to the brim with colorfully decorated natural wine bottles. The shop specializes in “natural” wine, which is essentially wine free of additives. An ordering counter advertises the flavors of the week, and just beyond the counter is a view into the open kitchen.

The pint ($15) offerings were olive oil and cocoa crumble, caramelized dark chocolate and key lime pie. The half pint ($10) offerings included raspberry sorbet, donut peach sorbet, nectarine sungold sorbet and blackberry labne. After conversing with the employee I learned that the olive oil and cocoa crumble gelato flavor was the shop’s very first pint offering and one of their most popular flavors, so I felt it was only right to taste test that one.

The pint was presented to me in a folded brown paper bag, taking me back to my elementary school lunch days, and “Happy Ice Cream” was stamped on the front in black lettering. The pint itself came in a brown paper carton, with a small sticker on top depicting the flavor. In order to preserve the integrity of the ice cream on this hot summer day, I ran the mile back to campus, not giving the ice cream a chance to melt on the walk home.

Though I typically keep it simple with my ice cream order — chocolate ice cream with rainbow sprinkles is my go-to — I was excited to try this inventive flavor. Olive oil desserts like cakes and custards have been trending as of late, so no better way to hop on the trend than with ice cream. 

Later that night I gave it a try, enjoying it the way ice cream is meant to be enjoyed: after a fun night out, passing the carton around with friends in the kitchen. Spoons clinked in a rush to indulge in more of the sweet treat, and before we knew it we were scraping the bottom of the pint.

The satisfied silence that fell upon the room while we dove into the pint scooping for more was proof enough that the ice cream was well worth my mile sprint. The top of the pint was covered with a dark cocoa crumble, reminiscent of a crushed Oreo but without the artificial taste of the cream. Beneath the crumble lies the olive oil ice cream, about one shade more yellow than a typical vanilla.

The dish was a story of combos, just like the shop itself. Sweet and salty flavor profiles battled in a playful way, with the olive oil ice cream providing a subtle saltiness that worked beautifully with the slightly sweet cocoa crumble. The ice cream was so smooth it practically melted on my tongue, contrasting with the chunky crumble.

Not only did the olive oil make the flavor extra creamy, but it tasted almost buttery. The slight savory flavor reminds me of the way chocolate chip cookies are elevated with the addition of flaky sea salt on top. The contrasting flavor of the olive oil brings out even more of the dark chocolate flavor from the crumble.

At first, I thought the cocoa crumble may have just been on the top, but I was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but four layers of cocoa crumble throughout the pint. Each bite was an artful combination of the two aspects of the dessert, and it was simply the best ice cream I have ever had the pleasure to enjoy.

In between beach trips and pool dips, kids and adults alike rejoice in the enjoyment of pizza and ice cream, and everyone and their mom has gotten into natural wine this summer. Happy Gemini has an essence of joy found through combining three of the happiest things on earth.

Head over to Happy Gemini, snag a seat outside, sip wine, lick an ice cream cone and munch on a slice of pizza while reminiscing about all the joy summer has brought.

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