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December 23, 2011 
 
 
Pickles and Pastrami:
So Hot Right Now

 
You can finally stop kvetching about the lack of pastrami and smoked fish in DC. Former Tallula chef Barry Koslow is teaming up with Roadside Food Projects to open a craft Jewish deli called DGS Delicatessen in Dupont early next summer.
 
Barry Koslow and Nick Wiseman
Owners Nick Wiseman (left) and David Wiseman (not pictured) of Roadside Food Projects are fourth generation Washingtonians who have long wanted to bring an authentic deli to the city. Enter Barry Koslow (right), who worked with Nick in the kitchen of Equinox more than a decade ago and was recently named DC's best Jewish chef by Forward magazine. "We knew we wanted to recreate the foods of our childhood," Nick says. And, well, no one had done it well in DC. Barry adds that there hasn't been a demand for niche dining in DC until recently: "It's not just a steak and potato town anymore. It will be a pastrami and latke town." Turns out they're right on trend. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal declared artisanal Jewish deli food a new global trend, as chefs across the country bring new life to old-school dishes like chopped liver and gefilte fish. "There's kind of this renaissance of deli," Barry says. (We hope that makes him the Michelangelo of Matzoh Balls.)
Barry Koslow and Nick Wiseman
Barry and Nick have taken countless trips to New York for inspiration. (Barry's personal favorite: Mile End in Brooklyn.) Nick also attended the Deli Summit (no joke), where owners of some of the best delis in the country get together to discuss the survival and sustainaibility of their cuisine. (Was the phrase Kreplach Confab already taken?) Barry says most deli food has become mass produced garbage. DGS Deli will make as much from scratch as possible. It will take seven or eight days to prepare the pastrami alone, and the restaurant will have three walk-in fridges for all the brining and curing. There will also be beer, wine, and old-world vodkas. Former Marvelous Market and The BreadLine owner Mark Furstenberg, who is opening a new bakery called Bread Furst up the street, will provide the breads and bagels. And acclaimed Jewish cookbook author Joan Nathan is advising on the project and taste-testing recipes.
DGS Deli
DGS takes its name from District Grocery Stores, a cooperative of Jewish mom-and-pop shops from the early 1900's. In fact, David Wiseman's grandparents owned one of the original stores. The new DGS (1317 Connecticut Ave., NW) will have 80 seats plus a patio and a take-out counter. As for decor, the high-ceilinged space will have a lot of exposed brick walls and reclaimed wood. Nick calls it modern Brooklyn industrial meets Old World Eastern Europe.

Bisnow
Black & Orange To Open Second Location
 
Black & Orange
Earlier this week, we broke the news that Lima Restaurant will be recreating itself as an Asian-influenced Latin American restaurant called Fujimori. But that's just the beginning of Lima chef Raynold Mendizabal's plans. He's also the chef and owner of burger joint Black & Orange (formerly Rogue States) and will be opening a second location off of U Street in the beginning of 2012. It's been a bumpy road to get to this point. Last year, the Dupont restaurant was sued by neighboring law firm Steptoe & Johnson, which claimed the kitchen fumes were a nuisance to its office. The courts forced Raynold to put in a new ventilation system, which ultimately cost more than $300K and shut down the restaurant for eight months. Rogue States reopened as Black & Orange this summer. Raynold tells us he was so mad about the situation that he was "glowing orange" like black metal heated over an open flame. He explains that when metal turns from black to orange, that's where you can create anything. Hence the restaurant's new name.
chef Raynold Mendizabal
While Black & Orange was closed, a bunch of new burger joints opened up nearby, including Shake Shake and BGR. But Raynold differentiates his burgers with flavors built from inside the meat with herbs and spices, rather than outside with toppings. The U Street location (1931 14th St., NW) will be nearly identical to the Dupont location (same menu, open till 5 am). If all goes well, Raynold says he'd like to possibly expand to H Street as well. When he's not opening or reinventing restaurants, Raynold has an unexpected passion: theoretical math. The Cuban-born chef was a math and physics researcher before coming to the US in 1995 and continues to work on mathematical problems related to planetary movements and geometry in his free time. "There's this misconception that math is a dry thing for really square people. That's not math. That's accounting," Raynold says. "Math is probably the highest art."

Bisnow
Goodbye, Maoz
 
Maoz
Sad news for fans of falafel shop Maoz in Dupont Circle: yesterday was its last day. "We had a great run," owner Quinn Wallis tells us. "We had very loyal customers. People loved our food. But unfortunately, at the end of the day, we just weren't able to get enough people through the door." The vegetarian franchise, which opened in DC two years ago, has seven other locations around the country and more in Europe. The DC spot was also located just below the Bisnow HQ. (That's us with the blue door.)

Bisnow
Frozen Yogurt, The Trend That Never Dies
 
Pinkberry
Fro-yo shop Pinkberry officially opens in Georgetown today. It's just across the street from Georgetown Cupcakes, making 33rd and M St. the nexus of trendy sweets. This is the California-based chain's second DC locale, following a Dupont opening in May. Pinkberry has also set up shop in Clarendon and Leesburg in the past several months. Looks like the frozen yogurt trend isn't going anywhere.

Bisnow
Happy Holidays
 
Click above to see a special holiday message from our publisher, who appears to have had a makeover while in California. We take a break from publishing next week and resume Jan. 2. We'll miss you!
 
Send restaurant news and story ideas to Dining Editor Jessica Sidmandining@bisnow.com. You can also catch us on Facebook and Twitter!

Want to advertise in or partner with Dining Bisnow? E-mail Stephen Ballstephen@bisnow.com.

 
 
 
 
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