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La Tomate has been a fixture in Dupont Circle for nearly 28 years. But with the increasing dining competition, owner Natalina Koropoulos knew she needed to make a change. “Things have gotten very difficult for restaurants, at least in my case,” she says. “There’s so many restaurants, so many things to try. I think diversification is definitely the way to go.”

So she’s carved out a section of her existing bistro to form La Tomate Caffe, a more casual, less expensive spot open from breakfast through late-night with its own separate entrance. The cafe will celebrate its “grand opening” on July 25, but it is technically already open. The menu includes a number of small prosciutto plates and a few varieties of mozzarella with different types of accompaniments and pestos. There are also pastries, salads, panini, and tramezzini (Itay’s answer to English tea sandwiches). Desserts include gluten-free options like a ricotta cheesecake with anise-flavored liqueur Sambuca and a fennel marmalade, as well as a chocolate espresso cake with a touch of rum.

Guests can get their orders to go or grab a spot at one the three stools along the window or at one of the four tables. La Tomate Caffe will also offer coffee plus wine, beer, and Prosecco and Aperol spritzes in the evenings.

Koropoulos eventually wants to package La Tomate’s sauces and soups to sell on-site. She’s also looking at adding a gelateria in the future.

Check out more photos of the cafe below. 

La Tomate Caffe, 1701 Connecticut Ave. NW; (202) 667-5505; latomatebistro.com/la-tomate-caffe

Photo by Rey Lopez