Young and Hungry

May The Schwartz’s Be With You: Barry Koslow Is Bringing Jewish Deli Fare To D.C.

There's nothing quite like a smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz's in Montreal, which is sort of like the Shake Shack or Georgetown Cupcake of Jewish delis, with its lengthy lunch line often stretching down Saint-Laurent Boulevard.

Definitely nothing like it in D.C. at least, which is why Y&H is pretty stoked to find out about Barry Koslow's plans to open an authentic Jewish deli in Dupont Circle in 2012.

In a Washingtonian interview with Y&H alum Todd Kliman, Koslow cites Brooklyn's Mile End (makers of the best smoked meat sandwich I've tasted outside la belle province) as one of the models for his forthcoming DGS Delicatessen, created in partnership with Nick and David Wiseman of Roadside Food Projects.

Kliman points out that the last high-profile Jewish deli to open in the District, Stacks, "which took the gamble of importing its smoked meats from Montreal," never gained a loyal following and closed back in 2004. Koslow tells Kliman that all his meats will be smoked on premises. Bonne chance!

Read the full announcement, if you care to, after the jump:

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.

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.

Photo by chensiyuan/GNU Free Documentation License

  • JSA

    I was under the impression that Stacks closed, not due to a lack of a loyal following, but because its owner was under federal indictment at the time (Jack Abramoff)... Is that not the case?

  • Charles

    I also thought that Stacks closed because it was owned by Abramoff. See http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/273202#1437944

  • Steve

    I'm definitely looking forward to a good deli in town. but I will say, that PORC Mobile food truck makes a killer pastrami. They don't always have it, but its damn good.

  • Jonathan

    The knishes at the Corned Beef King food truck are also jolly good (although I find their corned beef sandwiches a bit lacking compared to Katz' in NYC, Schwartz' in Montreal, or Platters in London.

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