DIG’s New Digs: Wisc. Ave. Debut for ‘Veggie-Forward,’ Seasonal Comfort Foods

At the site of the old Little Tavern burger joint at 1301 Wisconsin Ave. NW –  across from Martin’s Tavern – New York-based “Dig” is opening a casual, chef-centric, “veggie-forward,” and “seasonal, fresh comfort food” spot, designed for Georgetown visitors looking for an affordable, healthy, locally-sourced meal cooked from scratch. As the chain’s first flagship restaurant in the nation’s capital, grand opening day this Sunday, April 30 is also designed to be a festive affair.

“We’ve been eagerly anticipating the opportunity to open in Washington, D.C. for quite some time,” said Jessica Serrano, vice president of marketing at Diginn.com. “Georgetown’s rich heritage and iconic charm were immediate draws for us. We believe our fresh, delicious, and affordable dining options will be well-received by the diverse community of students, local residents and visitors. The vibrancy of the area combined with the unique character of this landmark location, resonated with our vision for a special dining experience. We are excited to become a part of Georgetown and contribute to the local community.” 

Courtesy Dig.

Dig Georgetown’s chef, David Saffell, operates on “100 percent scratch concept” principles which he defines as: “all about using small, artisan farms and purveyors,” where the restaurants are as “farm-to-table as a restaurant [can] possibly be…  and only locally sourced “whenever possible.” Chef Saffel previously helped open the Gaylord Hotel in National Harbor, served as Sous-Chef at True Foods Kitchen in Merrifield, and cooked for the Clyde’s Restaurant group and The Hamilton a block from the White House. “Mindful sourcing is our bread and butter. We buy from minority-run and small-scale farms, using our purchasing power to support sustainable growing practices and invest in the future of farming,” Dig’s website touts.

Chef Paige Van Den Berg has also been with Dig since 2018, having worked previously at Union Hospitality Group for 5 years. “Cooking is her second career. In her past life she was a stage manager on broadway,” a Dig press release stated.

In addition to being “scratch-cooked,” Dig’s menu selections are designed to feature “nourishing foods that are both familiar and surprising.” As the seasons rotate, so to will the offerings in order to “showcase the freshest vegetables of the season.” 

“Everything is super fresh,” said Megan Zilenziger, marketing specialist at Diginn.com. “We’ve got a lot of vegetables on the menu. We rotate some of our sides out seasonally. For example, during the wintertime we had a beet and citrus side and honey-roasted brussel sprouts and a crunchy grape and apple side, and then for spring we just launched this April two new sides: a cannellini bean side and a crunchy radish lettuce with a vegan ranch dressing.” But that doesn’t mean that meat-eaters are left out, Zilenziger said. “We have proteins on our menu, including chicken, tofu, wild Alaskan salmon and meatballs.”

Market salads and sandwiches, made to order on-the-spot and “highly customizable,” will be featured along with items such as the “Classic DIG” (charred chicken, roasted sweet potatoes, charred broccoli with lemon, brown rice with garlic aioli.) “Our market plates side usually consists of a base, two sides and a protein,” Zilanziger said. “The bases are brown rice, farro, and greens…. After choosing a base, our sides include broccoli, sweet potato, carrots, – you can then just top it off with a protein…. And, a lot people also know us for our mac and cheese. We use Jasper Hill cheese from Vermont and it’s really delicious.”

Courtesy Dig.

Fresh and warm focaccia breads – baked on site – will be available in addition to a variety of in-house vegan sauces, such as pesto, sriracha, and garlic-aioli. Desserts will include pastry selections such as flourless chocolate brownies, sticky carrot cake, and chocolate chip cookies. Kids’ menus, i.e., “Little DIGS” will be available along with DIG Dinner Boxes, “a customizable and easy option for feeding” a family of four for just $40. 

Affordability is key for Dig. “You can get a market plate anywhere from $13-15 depending on the protein you get,” Zilenziger said. “And we pride ourselves on being affordable – food that you can get quickly and conveniently and it tastes good and you’re nourishing your body.” 

Environmentally sustainable practices such as eliminating food waste and “using whole vegetables” are also featured on Dig’s website. 

Dig was launched in 2012 in New York by Adam Eskin and its current CEO is Tracy Kim. There are now 32 privately-owned Dig locations across 6 states. 

On Sunday April 30, for the grand opening at 1301 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Dig will host a “knife-cutting ceremony” for its workers in addition to a traditional ribbon cutting. Dig prides itself on training all their food workers in kitchen knife techniques for job skills development. The first 100 customers will receive free tote bags with Spindrift seltzers, Van Leewuen’s ice cream vouchers, and raffle opportunities for free Soul Cycle Georgetown class packages. And “one lucky customer” out of the first 100 will be randomly selected to win $500 in DIG credit. The first day of proceeds from walk-in sales will also be donated to the Hoya Hub Food Pantry on Georgetown University’s campus. 

Dig will hold its grand opening at 1301 Wisconsin Ave. NW on Sunday, April 30.  They may be reached at: Diginn.com or by phone at: (202) 567-3116. Hours: Mon. to Sun., 11a.m. — 10 p.m.


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