100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: DGS Delicatessen

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Matzo ball soup. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Evidently it wasn’t enough for chef Barry Koslow and co-owners David and Nick Wiseman to have given Washington its first legitimate deli in a generation. The new, improved pastrami sandwich makes clear their intention to compete with the legendary Schwartz’s in Montreal. The meat (grass-fed beef smoked, spiced, and sliced thickly) is softer and more luscious, layered more generously between slices of excellent twice-baked rye, and smeared with a zesty, from-scratch mustard. Meat isn’t the only matter. The chopped liver (festooned with crunchy panes of chicken skin for dipping) is superlative, the matzo-ball soup is shockingly elegant, and the teiglach, Hungarian doughnuts massed in a cast-iron pan and drizzled with honey, is one of the better desserts around. It’s a shame that the two-level space lacks the same warmth and character as the food, making lunch a more pleasurable experience than dinner. Then again, that pastrami is so transporting, you might not care where you are.

Open: Monday through Friday for lunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday for brunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Shakshouka, poached eggs with tomato-and-red-pepper stew; stuffed cabbage; “everything” chicken-salad sandwich; cheesecake.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.