Star and Shamrock Tavern and Deli

A Jew and and Irishman walk into a bar…sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s a daily occurrence at Star and Shamrock, one of the newest spots to open on the H Street corridor in the Atlas District. Jewish soul food meets Irish Whiskey in this unique combination of a Jewish deli and an Irish pub where if you raise a glass you’ll get a S’lainte and a L’Chaim.

Co-owner Jay Feldman explains how this all makes sense, “I grew up in an orthodox Jewish family and was raised in an all Irish-Catholic neighborhood in Bayonne, New Jersey, where I developed a love of whiskey, beer and good deli.” He moved to DC after college about 14 years ago and has worked and managed various bars and restaurants around town.

So is this just another shticky venue on the increasingly-popular H Street? We’re proud to announce that both traditions are not only well-respected, but also very well done.

As for the menu, we sampled the Reuben Eggrolls and got exactly what we expected – bite size Reubens all wrapped up in a fresh, crispy package served with a side of Russian dressing for dipping. The starter latkes were well proportioned and perfectly seasoned and cooked with a super crispy exterior and tender goodness on the inside.

An appetizer highlight is certainly the Pan-Fried Matzo Balls. They make their own chicken stock daily, old-school, and then cook the matzo balls before splitting them in half and quickly pan-frying them with onions to a golden crispy exterior and served with a side of the stock, called “Au Jew,” for dipping.

For main plates, You can build your own sandwich, starting with some of the most tender brisket we’ve ever sampled that melted like butter in our mouths. But it’s definitely the specialty sandwiches that shine here.

We felt compelled to try the namesake sandwich, The Star and The Shamrock: pastrami, corned beef, swiss cheese, chopped liver (yes!) and a latke on rye bread. We fully expected not to like this sandwich (maybe because of the liver) but it had a “who put peanut butter in my chocolate?” kind of experience.

We savored every bite of the Latke Madness – essentially a Reuben double decker with latkes instead of bread. Had to be eaten with a knife and fork, but that didn’t curb our enthusiasm for this star of the menu.

Why were the meats so good? They’re all made fresh on the premises, “We do it all in house; cure and brine and roast our own meats. We try to make everything fresh every day try to serve stuff that would make my Bubbe proud,” said Feldman.

Well Jay, your Bubbe would definitely be proud of that brisket but not so sure how she would feel about the bacon and provolone, though…

And with a wide selection of beers including the requisite Harp and Guinness as well as HeBrew, and Brooklyn, and an extensive sampling of Irish whiskeys, the bar has something for everyone.

They celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every month on the 17th and have Shabbat specials on the first Friday of every month. You can also catch everything from Klezmer to Irish folk tunes from their live music offerings.

DC is now allowing bars to open early in the morning for World Cup fans, and Star and Shamrock is is definitely a great place to watch a game, so you can stop by for a breakfast reuben and a pint while you cheer on the US Friday morning at 9:30.

Peace Love and Corned Beef,

The Chosen

The details:
Star and Shamrock Tavern and Deli
1314 H Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002
Open 11am – Closing every day
Available for private parties and off-site catering

Bacon and cheese here so Kosher diners beware.

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