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Rosh Hashanah Done Right: Where to Find Good Food for the Jewish New Year

Ring in the Jewish New Year the way it’s meant to be celebrated: with plenty of tasty traditional food.

Here’s our roundup of the best places to taste Rosh Hashanah fare—from markets to dinners to bakeries with specials, we’ve chosen food that even goyim can get behind. Both dinners begin well before sundown on Friday (the sun sets at 7:11), allowing you to make it to synagogue services.

This Rosh Hashanah dinner, held Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 19, at the French bistro Mon Ami Gabi, features a menu packed with traditional Jewish dishes and flavors. There’s homemade gefilte-fish, matzo-ball soup, challah with honey and apples, market salad with chopped liver, and braised beef brisket with potatoes and carrots. Only the apple dessert—a tarte Tatin with caramel sauce—hints at French fusion. Dinner is $34.95 per adult; children under 12 $16.95. To make reservations, call 301-654-1234. 5 to 11.

Shaul’s Kosher Market (1319 Lamberton Dr., Wheaton)—which has been in business for more than 20 years—is a great place to supplement your holiday meal with catered-but-still-authentically Jewish dishes. Pick up a copy of Washington Jewish Week for coupons and this week’s specials.

The family-style Rosh Hashanah dinner at Dino has Jewish specialties prepared with local, seasonal ingredients. Held Friday, September 18, and Saturday, September 19, the meal starts with challah baked in traditional round loaves (to signify the year’s cycle) and served with apples and honey. Chopped chicken liver, chicken soup, and tzimmes made with seasonal butternut squash make this a feast, but the real stars are a pair of entrées: lamb stew with new potatoes and sautéed halibut in a tomato-and-onion sauce. Dessert is a seasonal apple cake topped with whipped cream. This isn’t a kosher meal, but proprietor Dean Gold says that kosher substitutions—such as a dairy-free sorbet in place of the apple cake—will be available. The four-course meal is $39 per person and begins at 5 both nights; reservations are strongly recommended. Call 202-686-2966 or reserve online here.

With locations in Bethesda (10323 Old Georgetown Rd.), Alexandria (600 Franklin St.), and McLean (6655 Old Dominion Dr.), Balducci’s is a regional gourmet-market chain that’s a good place to pick up a loaf of challah, a few side dishes, or a full holiday meal. View the Rosh Hashanah menu here (*PDF), and call 866-278-8866 to place a catering order. If you’re observing, be sure to ask whether a dish is kosher before you make your purchase—not all of the holiday foods are.

Open every day from 6 AM until midnight, cozy Buzz Bakery is baking pastries for the holiday. Pick up a few to usher in a sweet new year. Treats include rugelach, Virginia honey cake, and apple cake made with Granny Smiths and topped with a five-spice glaze. $4.95 apiece.

At the upscale kosher Pomegranate Bistro (7943 Tuckerman La., Potomac), seasonal foods are available by the portion or the pound for the High Holidays until October 8. Specials include tzimmes made with carrots and sweet potatoes ($7.95/quart), glazed corned beef ($21.95/pound), and stuffed cabbage rolls ($17.95 for four). The regular market menu also includes loaves of challah, cinnamon and chocolate babka, beef brisket, and four kinds of kugel. 

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