740 6th Street, NW
From a press release:
“On Rye, a modern sandwich shop with a creative and lighter twist on Jewish deli staples, will open on November 11 down the street from the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood. Founder Ilyse Fishman Lerner draws from her heritage to refine and trim down counter-service favorites with inventive recipes and techniques, serving up these creations in a 2,550-square-foot, 60-seat space.
“We’re thrilled to open our permanent location, particularly given the great response we’ve had to our stand at Nationals Park,” said founder and first-time restaurant owner Ilyse Fishman Lerner. “Our goal is to change the perception of Jewish sandwiches and other deli items as ‘heavy, special occasion food’ to everyday fare that you can eat several times a week, while still maintaining a connection to the comfort and tradition of the cuisine.”
On Your Plate
On Rye’s menu focuses on traditional Jewish deli sandwiches and other classics that have been elevated with fresh ingredients and modern, more health-conscious cooking techniques to reduce salt content without sacrificing flavor. Of the ten sandwiches on the menu, half are vegetarian or can easily be made meat-free.
A riff on the classic “pastrami on rye” sandwich features a choice of Wagyu corned beef, Wagyu pastrami or roasted turkey breast– served with spicy mustard on marbled rye bread. Reubens abound
– not only are the traditional options featured, but a variety of vegetarian options will rotate seasonally as well. Currently on offer are both a smoked beet Reuben as well as a charred broccoli and roasted Portobello mushroom cap version, in addition to a variety of seasonal salads. And just in time for Hanukah, both traditional potato latkes and oven-baked veggie latkes, served with a yogurt lemon sauce, arrive to satisfy all tastes.
On the sweet side, look for chocolate babka ice cream sandwiches, black & white cookies and a babka French toast during brunch hours.
On Rye sources regularly from local producers and suppliers to bring a distinctly D.C. flavor to its offerings, including breads from Uptown Bakers of Hyattsville, Md., and Dolci Gelati’s vanilla bean gelato, which serves as the filling of its standout babka ice cream sandwich.
In Your Glass
A seamless match to its Jewish deli dining, On Rye serves up frothy egg creams – a soda fountain mainstay combining milk, extra-thick U-bet chocolate syrup (the gold standard for any proper egg cream) and seltzer. Classic Dr. Brown’s sodas and Stumptown coffee are also available. A tight, but highly curated list of canned wine and beers round out the beverage offerings. Expect to see champagne, a surprisingly perfect Reuben pairing, pop up occasionally as a featured pour.
Calling on the expertise of D.C.-based architecture and design firm HapstakDemetriou, On Rye creates a bright and comfortable space with a largely black and white color palette. Guests are drawn into the space outfitted with black steel and brass elements, tile inlays and polished concrete floors throughout. Coffeehouse-style seating in front and a more traditional dining area at the back are separated visually by a low bookshelf wall displaying cookbooks, curated pantry goods and other cheeky sundries.
Hours: 11am-10pm daily”