2011 | Dine

Secolari olive oil and vinegar shop opens on Bethesda Row

A must-go for EVOO fans and bread dippers

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Want to drizzle a little habanero oil on your baked fish? Spike your fruit salad with some champagne mimosa vinegar?

With 14 types of olive oil and 7 vinegars, the possibilities are plentiful at Secolari, a new shop that opened October 14 at 7249 Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda.

Owned by Barth de Rosa, a Washington attorney, and his wife Mary de Rosa, the place is a one-of-a-kind for Bethesda.

Stainless steel storage tanks sit on shelves around the perimeter of the shop, labeled with the type of oil or vinegar, and the counters are made from handsome butcher block.

Using bread or sipping solo, customers can taste before they make their selections. Executive manager Jody Callen also said there will be monthly recipe cards to help navigate the choices.

Gift boxes at the Secolari shop.While the word “secolari” means “centuries old” in Italian, all of oils and vinegars in the de Rosa’s store are from California.

The shop also sells a selection of bold-flavored pastas (e.g. spicy red hot Thai curry, chocolate and raspberry gemelli), some sauces and spreads, and a lovely assortment of bath products (salts, soaps, body butters, massage oils).

I stopped in minutes before a Montgomery County inspector gave his final blessing—and the store opened. Like excited kids, Mary de Rosa and Callen were thrilled with their first sale—sisters Kari and Meredith Sciarretta purchased two bottles of olive oil, habanero and jalapeno.

“We eat a lot of bread and olive oil,” said Kari Sciarretta.

 So do a lot of people. Mary de Rosa also uses olive oil to remove her make-up.

The 12.7-ounce bottles of olive oil at Secolari cost $17 to $21 for the varietals, and $21 for the flavored oils. The same size bottle of vinegar costs $17. The shop also sells cedar gift boxes (made by disabled adults in California) that accommodate two bottles.