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The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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February 19, 2024

D Light Cafe and Bakery: A Ukrainian restaurant review

On any given morning in Adams Morgan, D Light Cafe and Bakery is jam packed. Every colorful couch is filled with customers sipping their lavender lattes and indulging in fluffy croissants. The cafe is decked out in yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, and art of the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, decorates the walls.

In Oct. 2021, D.C.’s first Ukrainian cafe opened its doors. Vira and Anastasiia Derun — two sisters who recently immigrated from Ukraine — transformed a desolate old cafe into what it is today: a cozy and aesthetically pleasing space.

As the weather got colder and we headed into fall, I visited Adams Morgan to see what D Light had to offer in my favorite season.

Croissant: 10/10

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First up on my order was the cafe’s hallmark: the croissant. At first glance, the croissant was promising. The light brown pastry was not the flattened Starbucks croissant I was used to; this one was tall, flaky and fluffy. The first bite proved my initial observations right — the freshly baked croissant was heartwarming, crispy at first and a warm bundle of sweet joy in my mouth. Within two minutes, it was gone. The pastry was $3.85, a fair price considering its quality and size.

Avocado Toast: 8/10 

Next up was D Light’s avocado toast for $14, pricey for a single slice of toast. The menu offered a couple of topping options for my toast including egg, fried halloumi (a type of cheese) and salmon. I opted for the sun-dried tomatoes and sesame seeds. The avocado spread was delightfully thick and creamy, though the bread itself was too thick for my liking. In addition to the spread, the bread was piled with sundried tomatoes, edamame and basil, which provided a fresh taste to the toast. The combination created a bright and bold taste in my mouth, with various textures creating a well rounded bite. The small salad accompanying the toast was a nice addition; its tart, acidic taste helped cleanse my palette. 

Lattes: 9/10

When I browsed the menu for beverages, I was immediately drawn to the lattes. D Light’s plentiful latte offerings extended far beyond a basic Vanilla Latte. One of the most popular offerings is the Pink Dreams Latte, a cup of dark-roasted coffee with raspberries covering the bottom. Unfortunately, the drink wasn’t visually pink, but the taste redeemed the appearance. At first, the latte tasted like a normal coffee and milk combination, but the berries added a sweet and slightly tart aftertaste. The latte maintained a delicious flavor of roasted coffee, alongside the unique berry flavor. 

The second latte I tried was the Mocha Latte. The latte was warm, rich and smooth. The chocolate overpowered the coffee taste, but the drink was creamy and sweet while still providing the necessary caffeine.

Lastly, I opted for a seasonal fall flavor — the Honey Pumpkin latte. The latte didn’t have a powerful taste of pumpkin like the Starbucks pumpkin cream cold brew I was used to, but it was a solid fall drink. Nothing stood out as spectacular, and I couldn’t taste the honey. Overall I would classify it as normal latte with a slight hint of pumpkin. Each latte cost $4.70, a reasonable price for such unique drinks.

American Style Pancakes: 5/10 

D Light offers five different variations of french toast, pancakes and waffles. I chose the gluten free pancakes with caramelized pecans and syrup, which cost $13. My mistake was ordering a traditional American dish, because the pancakes were honestly a disappointment. I was nervous upon seeing the dark brown, burnt color of the pancakes. The outsides were burnt to a crisp, while the insides were undercooked and gooey. The syrup was the perfect level of sweetness, but overall it wasn’t enough to cover the bland taste of the pancakes. The pecans were rather dry and I couldn’t tell if they were caramelized at all.

Along with the pancakes, I ordered deruny — a Ukrainian style of pancakes made with potatoes. The dish is made by frying grated raw potatoes, onion, flour and eggs. Similar to latkes, deruny has a smooth interior, crispy exterior and is less flaxy and more simple to make. On the side was a piece of gravlax salmon and egg. The unexpected dill taste from the salmon incorporated perfectly into the meal, adding an herby aftertaste. The mushroom cream sauce and egg, served sunny side up, gave the dish a hearty, smooth blend to contrast the crispy and savory taste of the pancakes. The dish cost $16 dollars, a good price for all I got.

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About the Contributor
Annie DeLuca, Feature Writer
Grade 11 Why did you join the Black and White? I love writing and journalism What is your favorite song of all time? August by Taylor Swift

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