Rise and shine, it’s Rosh time! Though a little late this year, the High Holidays are indeed upon us. At JFE®, that means one thing: dinner. Oh, and family, friends, making spiritual connections and finding meaning in tradition and culture. If that sounds like a lot, we’ve made it a bit easier for you. When you don’t feel like schlepping around the kitchen, why not head out to eat and get a slice of someone-else-cooked heaven to ring in 5777?
Our first stop’s at perennial favorite DGS Delicatessen, with a prix-fixe menu served October 2 and 3. The chef’s drawing inspiration from fall, serving parsnip soup, roasted arctic char over butternut squash, roast chicken with truffle vinaigrette and a decadent babka bread pudding. It doesn’t stop there: for Yom Kippur break-fast on October 12, call out for The Grand Plate, featuring a bevy of house-cured and smoked fish, authentic bagels and all the traditional goodies that go alongside. Our favorite part: carafes of mimosas, bellinis and bloody Marys. There’s no bad time for brunch!
At Equinox, we head to the dreamy Mediterranean shores for a Sephardic-style feast. The prix-fixe menu features lentil salad, Ellen Gray’s famous falafel, family-style sides like roasted garlic hummus and walnut cake.
Dino’s Grotto’s gone all Mediterranean as well, with whispers of Morocco, Italy and Greece. From October 2 to 4 check out the fabulous menu, starting with a tableful of small bites (challah, chopped liver with ginger), followed by matzah ball soup and Venetian risotto, your choice of entrée, like a Greek-style baked fish, and a dessert. There’s a pre-fast menu here as well on October 11, with light antipasti, matzah ball soup, an entree and a fabulous poached pear in chianti for dessert. It’s a party almost as fun as Ibiza, but on your plate.
Dine in? Carry out? You choose at Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, on October 2 and 3, with a traditional multicourse meal starting with an apple tray and homemade gefilte fish, hearty entrees like braised brisket and apple-y desserts. Don’t leave without scooping up one of our favorite non-meat dishes, Suzy Friedman’s vegetarian chopped liver. A similar menu’s going on both at Summer House Santa Monica, which also gets you gefilte fish and braised beef (short rib this time), and sister resto Mon Ami Gabi, which brings a touch of a French-bistro atmosphere to the New Year in its prix fixe, also with the gefilte, veggie chopped liver and braised brisket—and some haricots verts to get your Paris on. Reservations are recommended at all three restaurants.
Speaking of non-meats: Soupergirl has your plant-based back, spooning up too-good-to-be-true vegan matzah ball soup that’s got us kvelling. And naturally, she’s also created a bounty of apple-based soups, salads and sides, just in case you haven’t had enough Macintoshes and Jonagolds.
Carnivores, we won’t let you down. Meat’s on the menu at Carving Room—brisket, to be clear. There’s a prix fixe on October 2 with the basics (apples and honey, matzah ball soup), along with a sublime ten-hour braised brisket with thyme jus served over crispy cumin potatoes. An apple crumble cleans it up for dessert.
Teddy and the Bully Bar does classic, traditional and local, serving a prix-fixe menu on October 2 and 3, with a first-course items like chopped chicken liver deviled eggs, main course items like sour cream trout over pumpernickel spiced potato or a Pennsylvania all-natural half-chicken and a decadent, house-made dessert.
When Great-Aunt Shirley just must eat at home, but doesn’t want to cook, there’s always the catering route. All the DC-area Whole Foods Market stores will be carrying a large catering menu of all the classics; it’ll also carry grocery and bakery items from chopped livers (chicken and veggie!) and gefilte fish to wildflower honey and honey cake. To get you in the mood, there will be in-store tastings on several dates in September; check your local store for ordering and tasting details.
For additional sweet and savory catering dishes, Balducci’s is cooking up pretty much anything you’d need. Think of hors d’oeuvres, sides and entrees, like latkes, maple-glazed acorn squash and gremolata-rubbed brisket.
In other catering news, Sunflower Bakery is prepping a plethora of Rosh dessert delights, with delivery locations across Maryland, Virginia and the District. You can order anything from apricot crumb bars to the ever-appropriate apple and honey cupcakes and iced cookies in the shape of apples and honey bottles. Based in Gaithersburg, Sunflower Bakery prepares adults with “learning differences” with job training in the food industry, making its offerings extra sweet.
From the be-floured hands of Alex Levin direct to your table: for the first time this year, Osteria Morini’s pastry chef’s crafting specialty baked goods that’ll make even the prickliest of relatives ask for second slices. Pre-order and head to the Navy Yard restaurant (or get delivery!) for honey raisin challah, apple butter-honey cake and the most alluring, dark chocolate toffee sprinkled with fleur de sel. A sweet New Year, indeed.
Mom always said breakfast was the most important meal, and Sixth & I agrees. Join the synagogue for a High Holiday Welcome Breakfast on Monday, October 3 at 9:00 am, where you can nosh on a bagel and sip coffee before services; the breakfast is open to those attending a Sixth & I service.
Care for a cocktail to celebrate? Why yes, indeed. Toast to a happy and healthy 5777 with an I Cannot Tell a Lie, courtesy of One Eight Distilling. It features white whiskey and cherry, maple and walnut notes, which are deep fall flavors that work well with a heavy holiday meal. Now you can break out the tumbler that matches grandma’s china.
Sunflower Bakery, Sixth & I and Soupergirl are certified kosher.
DGS Delicatessen, Equinox, Dino’s Grotto, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, Summer House Santa Monica, Mon Ami Gabi, Carving Room, Teddy and the Bully Bar, Whole Foods Market, Balducci’s, Osteria Morini and One Eight Distilling are not kosher.
Top photo courtesy of DGS Delicatessen