BEACH SWEETS IN THE CITY: Didn't get to the beach this summer? Washington pastry chef Heather Chittum has something to remedy that: "the Boardwalk," an edible sampling of just about everything you could find along an actual boardwalk on the ocean (hold the sand).

The $8 display, recently available at Dish (924 25th St. NW; 202-338-8707) in the River Inn, celebrates mint ice cream, sprinkled with colorful jimmies and served in a little waffle cone; a golden ball of caramel popcorn; funnel cake, warm from the fryer and dusted with confectioners' sugar; a decadent square of Rocky Road fudge; and a piece of peppermint-flavored taffy, wrapped in waxed paper (and correctly dubbed "tap water" rather than "salt water" taffy).

Yes, the assembly is fun. And yes, you'll need to floss afterward.

Chittum hatched the idea months ago. "I thought about doing it in winter," recalls Chittum, whose duties include making desserts for Dish's sister restaurants, the nearby Circle Bistro (1 Washington Circle; 202-293-5390) and Notti Bianche (824 New Hampshire Ave. NW; 202-298-8085). "I was longing for warm weather."

Dish, she says, seemed to be the most appropriate venue for her self-described "kitschy" creation. The menu at Circle Bistro tilts to the French, after all, while the script at Notti Bianche nods to Italian. Dish, on the other hand, highlights corn chowder and fried chicken -- American comfort food.

Diners have through September to try the Boardwalk, a notion Chittum is still tweaking. She hopes to add one more touch to the presentation, and it's practical: "Handiwipes."

Heather Chittum and her "Boardwalk."