At two seemingly disjoint restaurants in Western Market, the smell of fresh coffee beans drifts from a coffee counter, while the sounds of cutlery clinking echo from the nearby Italian restaurant.
The so-called “Italian-ish” Tigerella combines a quick breakfast with a lunch and dinner menu sitting between two nearby joints in the Western Market after having open late July and early August. The two-sided establishment serves creative and classic coffee drinks, baked goods, salads and sandwiches in the coffee section as well as a somewhat casual but tasteful setting worthy of a date if you looking to boost your dining atmosphere at the restaurant sitting a few feet away.
Tigerella draws inspiration from classic Italian coffee, pizza, pasta and baked goods to create a fresh menu with lots of traditional Italian flavors. I’ve tried the best dishes in the place, so be sure to try those orders next time you’re in Western Market.
Sun-drenched and coffee-scented, the cafe is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and offers a variety of espresso and filter coffee drinks as well as pastries, breakfast items, salads, and sandwiches. The cafe feels like the perfect late morning spot – open Monday-Friday 8am-3pm, including weekend hours coming in the near future – with the likes of Kali Uchis, Internet and Steve Lacy playing to the sound of ground coffee beans.
Espresso drinks are a must. Grains from Coffee break are brewed in classic drinks, like the iced Americano (small $3.5/large $4), which I dare call the most well-crafted of its kind in Foggy Bottom. This drink showcases the natural sweetness of coffee with a hint of acidity, leaving you pleasantly refreshed, caffeinated and ready for the day.
Their breakfast sandwich ($9) — a cheddar omelette rolled up in a potato bun with beef brisket for $3 more — stands out as their signature sandwich, served in a wrapper. take away accompanied by a mild homemade spicy sauce. The bread roll, freshly baked every morning, melts in your mouth while the cheese omelet takes center stage. Cooked to perfection, the omelette is fluffy, has just the right amount of cheese, and doesn’t feel too heavy, so it works as a light breakfast to take on the way to class. Add beef brisket for a heartier start to a lazy Sunday morning. Not to mention, it’s offered as one of the company’s student specials — drip coffee and a breakfast sandwich for $10 on GWorld.
In the adjoining space next door, the eclectic sit-down restaurant and bar section of Tigerella is open for lunch and dinner from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Upon entering the restaurant, you will come face to face with a team of chefs working in an open kitchen where they prep, cook and cook food for all to see. An intimate setting surrounds a bar with subdued pendant lights and exposed brick walls.
Guests can also sit in an indoor courtyard-style dining room with several larger tables, where the sun streams in through the skylights, the perfect setting for lunch with a classic Italian spot.
Bridging the gap between classic and contemporary, the all-day sit-down dining menu contrasts with the café’s typical breakfast options. Offering original dishes like vegetable rigatoni ($21), homemade sourdough and butter of the day ($5), and pickle pie pizza ($14) – made with garlic cream, giardiniera and custard squash – serving the restaurant brings a classy lunch and dinner experience to the GW campus.
The menu offers five appetizer-style small courses, the perfect first order for the table. Tigerella’s devilishly summery tomato and peach salad ($13) is a great starter for lunch this summer, alongside options like fried artichokes, broccoli and a green salad. Generously dressed in olive oil, tomato water, basil and tangy flakes of pecorino romano, coarsely cut heirloom tomatoes and ripe peaches are sweet, refreshing and light, paying homage to classic summer flavors.
The salad complemented the Summer Vegetable Toast ($14) to match the similar sweet and savory combination achieved from the Zesty Salad. Served on vintage-style floral plates and delicately adorned with Nasturtium petals – a bright red flower used as a sweet, peppery herb – Tigerella toast is undeniably the dish that stands out both visually and tastefully.
This order features a rich and distinctly sweet eggplant mash spread on a slice of sourdough and whipped ricotta on top with tangy roasted peppers, basil and a zesty, zesty gremolata – an Italian green sauce traditionally made with parsley, lemon zest and garlic. The burst of red pepper paired with the richer taste of eggplant created the optimal balance of lush, fresh flavors.
Don’t leave without ordering the Blood Orange Latte – espresso and your choice of milk with a blend of blood orange and vanilla syrup – available on the student specials menu for $4 with a valid student ID. A new take on the flavored latte trend, it’s a must with salad and toast. Overall, the quirky, upscale menu and multifunctional layout make Tigerella a hopeful contender for Western Market’s hippest lunch spot.
From espresso to summer salads, Tigerella offers a classic-inspired breakfast, lunch and dinner that takes your taste buds from summer to fall, so be sure to stop by while the peaches are ripe and the nasturtiums are in bloom.