Pastrami and Cocktails at DGS Delicatessen

A fun little spot in Mosaic, DGS serves up all the latkes you can eat and some easy cocktails.

Ambiance: ***1/2

Decor: ***1/2

Service: ****

Cocktails: ***1/2

Overall Rating: 3.75

Being a committed resident of Northern Virginia, I find it difficult to venture into the urban core of Washington DC.  I’m worse off for it in many ways, one of which is missing out on the rise DGS Deli, which is just all the rage among people cooler than me.  So, imagine my joy when I heard that DGS was coming to me — well, coming to the Mosaic neighborhood, but that’s sort of like coming to me.  I headed over to the new joint for a two-day tour de force.  I really liked the space, which was bright, open, and very clean.  Almost like a high-end hotel restaurant, with marble and an inviting wood bar.

I got to work by starting off with the Schmoozer which has Plum Vodka, Ginger Beer, Mint, and Lime.  It was light and airy with a little pepper twist that I liked.  The mint was also a very welcome addition, making this a smooth and sweet drink.  I followed it up with Le Marais, featuring cava, St. Germain, OJ, and Peychaud’s. The drink was sort of a “meatier” mimosa if that makes sense, a bit more interesting than the standard model.  Fine, just fine.

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After a strong start we hit a bit of a snag with the next two drinks.  The Mazel Tov Cocktail brings Prosecco, plum gin, lavender syrup, and lemon.  I was pumped for this drink as I think it’s an imaginative concoction, but it just didn’t work for me.  I thought it was a little sour and uneven, almost like the tastes clash rather than compliment.  I sought a rebound in the Honeymooner with rum, pomegranate, apple, and lemon – this was my least favorite drink of the tour; again the tastes didn’t gel and the rum overpowers, leading to a thin and caustic drink.

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But hey, it’s all about the finish, and DGS did not disappoint.  The Gershwin has bourbon, cardamaro (I don’t know what that is), sweet vermouth, and angostura bitters.  It’s a good, strong, and simple bourbon drink and I really dug it; it sticks with you.  The finale was the Miriam, with Tito’s Vodka, Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub, Lime, and Rhubarb bitters.  It was the best drink of the day, just a devastatingly delicious mix of strawberry and vodka — loved it to death.  I’m glad I went for the full measure or I would have missed out!

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DGS is a pleasant, scenic bar and restaurant that I enjoyed visiting.  The service was also superb; both bartenders I interacted with were extremely friendly and on point.  I will definitely be back!

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