DGS Delicatessen, Jewish Deli, Coming to Dupont Circle

Rejoice! Eater DC reports:

He’s [Barry Koslow] partnering with the guys from the Roadside Food Project and aims to serve your typical deli options — corned beef, pastrami (both house-made), matzo ball soup pickled fish — but they’re also going to be boozing it up with craft cocktails, beer and wine.

Looks like the Deli is coming to the former Cafe Mio space at 1317 Connecticut Ave, NW. This was the location that was going to become a Go Burger but that fell through in Feb. ’11.

Best news for DC since we got a baseball team back?

UPDATE: Just got a press release with lots more info:

DGS Delicatessen opening in Dupont Circle Spring 2012.

Acclaimed DC Chef Barry Koslow– recently named DC’s best Jewish chef by Forward Magazine– will launch a craft Jewish delicatessen in partnership with Roadside Food Projects in late Spring/early Summer 2012. The menu will evoke nostalgia for the classic delicatessen while elevating the experience with house-cured meats and fish and bread, bagels and bialys by Mark Furstenburg. DGS Delicatessen will be located at 1317 Connecticut Avenue, just south of Dupont Circle, with approximately 80 seats inside the restaurant, a patio and a to-go market featuring select items from the menu. The bar will offer a curated beverage program featuring a smart beer and wine list and old-world vodkas.

Continues after the jump.

The DGS name is a nod to the mom-and-pop Jewish grocery stores — District Grocery Stores — that banded together into a cooperative in the early 1900’s in Washington DC. Owners Nick and David Wiseman of Roadside Food Projects are 4th generation Washingtonians and have long yearned to bring an authentic delicatessen to the city; David Wiseman’s grandparents owned one of the original District Grocery Stores. Nick Wiseman recently said: “I never had a good pastrami sandwich growing up in DC. We are trying to change that with DGS.”

Nick Wiseman and Barry Koslow met ten years ago cooking in the kitchen at Equinox. Since then, Koslow established himself in some of DC’s best restaurants – Equinox, 2941 and Citronelle and atop the kitchen at Mendocino Grill and Tallula. According to
Koslow: “I’ve finally come full circle with my cooking, putting years of French technique to work on the foods of my childhood.”

DGS will feature delicatessen classics and modern takes on old favorites, with Koslow brining, curing and smoking all meats and fish on site. The delicatessen is slated for a late Spring/early Summer launch.

35 Comment

  • extremely bad news for my “get back into running” diet plan.

  • But will this deli be kosher? Eli’s should not be the only place to get a quality kosher sandwich in this town….

    • I understand people who are kosher want more options, but frankly I would rather not pay the $2+ premium for kosher and would just prefer a good kosher-style Jewish Deli.

      By the way, for those who haven’t been yet, Bethesda Bagel in Dupont satisfies some of those Jewish Deli needs.

      • For Kosher eaters this place is now a non option. Also I guarantee this place will not be some cheap style nyc deli. In the heart of Dupont you should expect the same over-pricing that Bethesda Bagel has (food is good, but cost is a bit much)

        • But how do you know if it’s good, if it’s not Kosher?

        • I agree that it will not be cheap like NYC. But Kosher meat is typically more expensive, and demands a premium beyond a comprable deli in the same location.

          For what it’s worth, I thought Eli’s prices are very high in compared to its quality, even for the Dupont area, and associated it with that Kosher premium.

        • $6 sanwiches (at Bethesda Bagel) are a bit much?? That’s downright bargain.

    • I’m not kosher, but I understand that DC (which is pretty Jewish) has, like, nothing Kosher besides Elis…and the premium doesn’t bother me because allowing friends to eat out is important – and having places to go where you can eat with Kosher friends is nice.

      If you are looking for other options, there is a ‘new’ restaurant in the JCC that is supposed to be good and kosher…and Soupergirl in Takoma Park (right across from the metro stop) is certified kosher.

      • “I understand that DC (which is pretty Jewish)”

        I have never thought of DC as “pretty Jewish”. Is that right, from a demographic perspective?

        • DC proper has never felt particularly Jewish to me- coming from the NY suburbs. Actually it feels very much the opposite.

          • Well to be fair, NYC and its suburbs are about ten million times more “Jewish” than pretty much anywhere outside Israel. There’s simply no other place with such a concentration of Jewish culture.

          • The DC metropolitan area has the 6th largest jewish community in the USA (according to Encyclopedia Judaica). The Jewish community in the NYC metropolitan area is the 2nd largest in the world and is approximately 10x the size of the community here in DC. Does that make DC “pretty jewish”? Well, yes compared to most of the country, but no when compared to NYC.

        • I’ve played enough Jewish Geography to conclude that the DC area is far more Jewish than I gave it credit for. I walk a lot on Saturday mornings, lots of people going to synagogue…and once I started planning my Jewish wedding, I was like “wow, there’s much more going on in this town than I thought!” But I know orthodox people that have moved away because it’s not religious enough.

          Kemp Mill has a number of kosher options, though…and a yeshiva!

  • Fingers and toes crossed that our dreams will come true!!!

  • Please be good, please be good, PLEASE BE GOOD!!!!!! If I could get a real bagel and some passable smoked sable or whitefish salad in this town, my level of kvetching about DC would drop by 50%.

    • thebear

      I have never understood why the best bagels in DC (and the closest thing to genuine, old-fashioned NYC ones) come from Bagels Etc on P Street…which is all Koreans. What’s really sad is how my Jewish friends here who never have been to NY actually think Einstein’s or Whatsabagel or even the ones from the supermarket are the real deal. I haven’t been over to Bethesda Bagel yet, but I have a feeling that I will be disappointed.

  • No, not kosher. Kosher-style.

  • SOOOOOOOOO much better than another burger joint. Great news.

    • So long as it means I can get a good pastrami and swiss (cheese) with Russian dressing. I’m pretty sure that’s not Kosher, but Kosher-style.

  • Sounds like an opportunity to overcharge for deli food. I’d rather just have a good kosher deli and they can keep their fluff and fancy.

  • Please make it kosher. I want a place to eat out with friends.

  • This does not seem like an actual deli to me, but a restaurant serving food meant to be reminiscent of a deli but modernized, put into a fancier space and more expensive.

    I hope I’m wrong but am not optimistic

  • Blithe

    I still miss Posin’s (sp?) — for me, this would be beyond Awesome!!!!

  • On a separate, but related note, what do people think of Loeb’s?

    • 23 years ago when I came to DC for a job interview, I stopped in Loeb’s for a sandwich. When a giant cockroach ran across the counter, I lost my appetite and left. Never went back.

    • Loebs is nice jewish kosher-style deli.

      Good matzo ball, good pastrami & corned beef. Knishes are not worth it, but the familly that runs it is fantastic.

  • DC has mediocre to terrible delis and has for years. Hopefully this will be an improvement.

  • the kosher comments are dumb. the most popular and successful deli in new york — katz’s — is not kosher; and, the most well-known NEW deli in new york — mile end — is not kosher. delis are not just for religious jews, and these places do just find without the business of extremely religious people.

    • and don’t forget that spending less money on rabbis means more on ingredients, better chefs, etc.

      • Doesn’t seem like anyone is suggesting it needs to be kosher to be successful. I was actually making the point that if kosher means more expensive, it would hurt the place. I think others who keep kosher are yearning for another place to go.

  • Never understood the fawning and longing over Jewish deli food. What am I missing?

  • Any Jewish deli in DC is welcome to me!!! I’m from NY, and I crave a good jewish deli!!! Its hard being a New Yorker living here and having to search far and wide for a bagel and a pastrami sandwich…I’ll eat there Kosher or not…I bet the pickles will be Kosher!! 🙂

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