Thursday, July 30, 2009

Taylor Deli: Gourmet Work, Life and Food

I absolutely love it when local places that I frequent get good press. And this may be one of the best in a long time. Taylor Deli is a fairly new Italian deli and gourmet market open in my own little 'hood of Capitol Hill. I was playing mommy-for-a-night a few months back, babysitting this little cutie, and low and behold my services were compensated with the most yummy sandwiches I've ever had (Thanks, Sara!). I had to go check it out for myself. I got there only to discover that the deli and market is so industrially-chic and beautiful on the inside; I was giddy. So when I opened up my September issue of Dwell and saw a huge spread not only on the deli, but also a peak inside the homes of the impressive best-friend since middle school owners, I was practically on the floor.

Located on the growing H-Street corridor in DC, this is one of the up and coming businesses trying to return the neighborhood to it's glory. The deli is located on the bottom floor and co-owners Casey Patten and David Mazza renovated the 2nd and 3rd floors into coordinating bachelor pads. (Did I mention that I'm single and enjoy things like good design, construction projects and gourmet cheese?).

See that right below, yup look down. That's an all glass garage door that serves as the store front. It rolls right up during nice weather to give it that open, market feel.

The tops floors of the building were renovated into open, airy bachelor pads that are a beautiful pallet of neutrals and pay respect to the structure of the building. With each pad spanning just 850 sq ft, the guys used simple floor plans, quality pieces and modular kitchen material to make the space seem luxurious. This is Casey's pad on the 2nd floor.
I think those might be off-storage pans hanging from a track above the window. While the guys claim to have no architectural background, they certainly have a little experience from some previous time in construction and real estate as well as a shared appreciation of good design and quality living (see again, single girl comment above).

David's apartment on the top floor of the building is similar in layout and feel, both highlighting beautiful exposed brick walls that were uncovered during the demolition they did themselves. David's cabinets (which I think are similar or identical to Casey's but I couldn't tell from the article) use Ikea cabinet bases mixed with found steel counters measured to fit and a custom drop in sink. I love it when people aren't afraid to rock their Ikea finds proudly by putting their own spin on them.

Back to the deli--if you're anywhere near the DC area, you really should make a trip. Catering, take out, or delivery, get it anyway you can. An absolute MUST are the risotto balls. Cheese and risotto rolled together and lightly fried, they are heaven. I think about them often. The market also carries Ciao Bella gelato, stock up when you're there. I can't pick a favorite sandwich (although turkey, sundried tomatoes and provolone is near the top), I usually go with friends and we each order differently and then slice them up to share.

See that amazing light fixture the deli sports...the cluster of exposed bulbs that looks like it could be bought for a ridiculous price at some fancy store. Owner, Casey Patton, made it using basic materials available anywhere. Sustainable design was important to this pair, which is why the walls of the deli host rehab'd wood salvaged from cast away palettes the guys found around town.

A big thanks to Dwell for a great article on this local treasure. I think I know where I'm heading for dinner tonight.

Here are all the design dets:
Deli Architect: Grupo 7
Original Dwell Article: Aaxon Britt
Photos: Joao Canziani


  1. Geeze! This restaurant the apartments look SO good! It's funny you posted this because I'm possibly visiting a friend in the DC area in the fall. This place needs to go on the must-list.

  2. These entrepreneurs are all over the internet! They've done such a fantastic job with the deli and their homes!! I'm going to hit it up next weekend while I'm on H Street at that great little junk shop. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Hurray, my hood has hit the big-time! The sandwiches really are amazing, and their little shop is so cute, with good wines that are totally in my price range. Thanks for the shout out!


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