Places to dine to ring in 5779

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Honey-glazed salmon on a bed of potato horseradish risotto is one of the entrees being served during Rosh Hashanah at Teddy and the Bully Bar in Washington. Photo courtesy of Demetrio Zavala.

Apple cake cooked in a waffle iron and matzah ball soup cooked with duck fat are two of the dishes on the Rosh Hashanah menus of Washington eateries. If making a holiday meal isn’t your thing, consider the following, where you can sit down or take out to ring in 5779.

At Teddy and the Bully Bar (1200 19th St. NW), near Dupont Circle in Washington, Executive Chef Demetrio Zavala has created a three-course Rosh Hashanah menu for the first and second night of the holiday.


Among the first-course options is golden and red beet tzimmes, which is made with watercress, challah croutons and pickled apples. Zavala said the dish differs from traditional tzimmes in that it resembles a salad rather than casserole.

Zavala’s entrees include a lightly smoked trout with brown butter emulsion, fondant and a side of butternut squash puree. Zavala also has a brisket on the menu which he cures three days before serving.

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“I do a slight pumpernickel brine on it. That way you get some nuance on it,” he said.

The apple-waffle cake concoction, served a la mode with cinnamon ice cream, is among the dessert choices at Teddy and the Bully Bar. Zavala said the waffle iron is effective because it cooks the cake on both sides while keeping it moist. The cake, he said, has the density of a carrot cake.


“It cooks on both sides, so it steams within,” he said.

Zavala said he is expecting 150 guests for the first night of the holiday, and 100 on the second night. He recommends that diners make reservations at least four days in advance. The three-course dinner costs $50 per person.

Not far, in Shaw, Dino’s Grotto (1914 9th St. NW) will offer a Rosh Hashanah menu on Sept. 9-11, featuring dishes commonly found in Sephardic culture, in keeping with the Italian cuisine normally served in the restaurant.

Chicken with walnuts and pomegranates is on the menu at Italian eatery Dino’s Grotto in Washington’s Shaw neighborhood. Photo courtesy of Dean Gold

Appetizers, Gold said, will include white wine braised leeks, orange fennel and pomegranate salad — delicacies that he said are traditional in Ladino culture during the High Holidays.

For the matzah ball soup, which is among the first course items, Gold uses duck fat.

“It makes for a lighter, more tasty matzah ball,” he said.

Another Ladino dish that will be served at Dino’s Grotto is a frittata with pasta, charred Moroccan olives and harissa.

The second course includes more traditional items, such as brisket with winter squash and roast chicken.

Gold said Rosh Hashanah meals are served family style, where diners try multiple items on the menu for a fixed price of $44 per adult and $20 for children under 12.

“When you sit down, you get a little bit of everything,” he said.

The Rosh Hashanah menu at Mon Ami Gabi (7239 Woodmont Ave.) in Bethesda is traditional, with appetizers such as vegetarian and beef chopped liver, gefilte fish and challah with apples and honey.

“These come in small servings and are for the table,” said server Lorin Hayes.

The second course includes matzah ball soup and a choice of either seared salmon, braised brisket or grilled chicken. Sides include carrot tzimmes, kasha varnishkas and Israeli couscous with peas.

The dessert menu includes a flourless chocolate cake with a side of fruit compote. There is also an apple tart that Hayes described as “an upside down apple pie with caramel sauce.”

Diners can order off of the Rosh Hashanah menu on the first and second night. The price for all three courses is $44.95 per person, and Hayes recommends making reservations soon.

Also in Bethesda, Heckman’s Delicatessen (4922 Cordell Ave.) offers take-out service for those celebrating the holiday.

Partner Eric Heckman said the deli is offering mainly traditional foods such as brisket, stuffed cabbage, fish platters and matzah ball soup. Items can be purchased a la carte or as a package, which he said costs about $20 per person.

“We have combination dinners where you get a salad, dinner and vegetables,” he said. “And then we have several dessert options.”

Noodle kugel with raisins is one of the a la carte items offered at Heckman’s Delicatessen in Bethesda. Photo courtesy of Eric Heckman

Until this year, Heckman’s was a sit-down restaurant and typically saw increased volume after High Holiday services, Heckman said. But he still anticipates a high volume of catering and delivery orders this year. He recommends calling two weeks in advance to place an order, but said 44 hours is the minimum of advance notice.

“We do a good job of last minute orders, but we’d prefer earlier,” he said.

Wagshal’s market, which has multiple locations in the District of Columbia, will offer individual items for takeout, including gefilte fish, matzah ball soup, buckwheat kasha and eggplant caviar. Catering Manager Silvia Alexander said the gefilte fish and the brisket are always popular.

“We slow roast it with vegetables,” she said of the brisket, “and we take our drippings and make a wonderful gravy. It really is just luscious.”

Alexander said Wagshal’s also sells hundreds of plum cakes during Rosh Hashanah, which feature a light, airy cake, topped with plum slices on a bed of butter and brown sugar crumbles.

A full course dinner will likely cost between $80 and $100, said Alexander, and she expects volume to increase after Sept. 1.

Jewish Northern Virginians looking for a meal on Rosh Hashanah can try Celebrity Delly (7263A Arlington Blvd.) in Falls Church where they can order from a High Holiday menu or place a catering order. Meals include an appetizer, entrée and two vegetables.

Appetizers include chopped liver and gefilte fish, and main courses are brisket, salmon, chicken and turkey. All meals also include challah, carrot tzimmes and matzah ball soup.

General Manager William Thompson said meals are $23 per person. He recommends placing catering orders soon.

“We get about 100 orders between two days [of Rosh Hashanah],” he said.

Whole Foods stores will begin taking Rosh Hashanah orders on Aug. 24, according to the company. Customers can begin picking up orders on Sept. 6. For the second year, the company has partnered with cookbook author Joan Nathan to feature select foods from her 2017 cookbook “King Solomon’s Table.”

Those foods include the entrée of cod with tomatoes, plums, apples, onions and pine nuts as well as sides such as sweet and sour cabbage, kasha varnishkas and tahini cookies.

There are also traditional foods that are not from Nathan’s cookbook, including red wine braised brisket and a potato latke platter. Foods can be purchased individually and cost between $7 and $20. Customers can also purchase platters that serve eight for $50.

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