Perhaps one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2012 was Dupont Circle’s DGS Delicatessen. Rachel and I have longed for a Jewish deli that would not only do New York proud but also wouldn’t be another short-lived, poorly-executed knockoff.
Remember Uptown Deli and Bubby’s? Those two didn’t fare so well, and while Parkway does a reasonable job providing an assortment of Jewish fare, the place gets so chaotic on the weekends that we’ve sworn it off for brunch.
Enter DGS Delicatessen. With head chef Barry Koslow working the kitchen, we knew this wouldn’t be your average deli. We went with a couple of our friends for brunch a few weeks ago to finally see if DGS met the hype.
We kicked the morning off with some libations. The Le Marais is the gem of the brunch cocktail list, comprised of champagne, St. Germain, orange juice, and bitters. It’s a shame this beverage isn’t served in pitchers, because I easily would have had gone through four more glasses.
While it’s oftentimes nice to do a spin on things and make them fancier, sometimes you just want a good ol’ pickle plate. DGS’ plate included just four pickle spears and some other pickled items such as radishes and cauliflower. And while it was beautifully arranged, we kind of yearned for the complimentary pickle bar at Parkway.
For our main course, it was no surprise that I went for the pastrami sandwich. This is a sandwich that is prepared with care and for good measure – it takes eight days to make! Brined for over a week, the smoky, succulent meat is sandwiched between two slices of warm double baked rye along with a shmear of house mustard. The result is a tender, smoky sandwich that leaves you wanting more. For $13, the sandwich isn’t piled as high as anticipated, but it’s still one of the best you’ll find in the District. However, one would expect some sort of side to accompany the sandwich given the price. Chips, coleslaw, something.
Rachel opted for more of a classic brunch choice, DGS’ rendition of Eggs Benedict, aptly dubbed the Benedictberg. Featuring poached eggs, house-smoked salmon, latkes, and sumac hollandaise, this dish was a clear winner. The combination between the crispy latkes, smoky lox, and rich hollandaise really worked well and made for an excellent brunch dish.
Overall, we felt the food at DGS was terrific while being slightly overpriced. With tip, Rachel and I spent roughly $60 between the two of us. And this was for brunch. With each cocktail at $10 per glass, a meal here adds up quickly. The service was very accommodating given we had two babies with us, and they gave us a table by the front of the house with more than enough room for the strollers.
Suffice to say, this will be the first of many visits to this establishment. We only sampled just a fraction of the menu and with items such as pickled blue fish, flanken, and kreplach still waiting to be tried, a return to DGS is definitely in order.