Starting off the new year right is of critical importance, and sharing a celebratory dinner out with family, friends and fellow Jews is one of the best ways to do that. All across the city, restaurants are serving high holiday meals to ring in 5775. The culinary bell is chiming: time to come to the table.
Never is tradition tastier than on the plate. Mon Ami Gabi, with locations in Reston and Bethesda, will be hosting festive old-world-style prix-fixe dinners on both September 24 and 25. Manager Adam Murphy describes it as “a multi-course, traditional menu served to help our loyal guests celebrate the occasion.” Matzah ball soup, chopped liver, salmon, brisket and latkes will make appearances, along with a favorite: Suzy Friedman’s famous vegetarian chopped liver. And, of course, there’s the sweet stuff, in the form of apple tart and flourless chocolate cake.
Italian plus Jewish cuisines equals nothing but delicious, especially at the recently opened Dino’s Grotto in Shaw. The five-course, prix-fixe Rosh Hashanah dinner, served September 24 to 26, begins with chopped liver crostini and fire-grilled artichokes. After matzah ball soup, it’s on to risotto with giblets, but free of butter in the Venetian Jewish tradition. For the entrée there is a choice of Tuscan-spice-rubbed brisket, fish alla ebraica (baked with raisins and wine) or grilled seasonal veggie ratatouille. Round it out with a non-dairy Sephardic almond cake.
Delight in dishes of the liquid variety from Soupergirl! Owner Sara is thrilled to be serving her secret-recipe, entirely vegan matzah ball soup, in addition to apple, well, everything: apple salads, apple soups, apple spreads and the revolutionary “Let Them Eat Pureed Apple, Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup.” Surely everyone will be up in arms for more.
Over at Dupont’s DGS Delicatessen, it’s not your grandmother’s menu, that’s for sure. Minsk meets modern on the prix-fixe menu of squash kreplach, seared cod with caviar sauce and roasted duck breast over spaetzle with Slivovitz plum gastrique. Apple-filled donuts drizzled in (what else?) a honey glaze square the circle. A few extra shekels will buy you a wine pairing for each course. DGS also has a slightly more traditional catering menu with items from liver to latkes and brisket to babka for those who prefer eating at home.
At Equinox, Todd and Ellen Gray are welcoming eager diners to taste recipes right from the pages of their cookbook, The New Jewish Table. You’ll find items in touch with the season, including squashes and pumpkins, fish (not of the gefilte variety) and a dessert bursting with apples.
This being a new year and all, there’s got to be an exciting new happening. Cue the dining event that JFE itself is hosting with EatWell DC at Logan Tavern. On September 24, the P Street restaurant will host a two-part dinner beginning with a schmooze-focused appetizer spread including salmon canapés and apples with EatWell farm honey. After, guests will be treated to a sit-down dinner of brisket, salmon or a Mediterranean farro salad. There’s an optional wine pairing, too.
Meanwhile, a week later, food will also be on the mind—but perhaps for a different reason. Back at Dino’s Grotto, there will be a pre-fast dinner on October 3, curated by owner Dean Gold to make sure “it is filling, but light in salt and spices.” This prix fixe will begin early (4:30 pm), and include tasty, Jewish-influenced Italian delights liked braised artichokes, veal in lemon Marsala and apple citrus cake (with honey, of course!).
If the holidays are any indication of the year to come, it’s going to be a delicious one.
Top photo: Fire-grilled artichokes at Dino’s Grotto (Photo credit: Stacy Zarin Goldberg Photography, copyright 2014).
Note: With the exception of Soupergirl, the establishments discussed here are not certified kosher.