Archive for the 'deli restaurant' Category

22
Aug
11

Chef Haim Dadi – The Dream Concrete


Since he was very young, Haim Dadi knew what he wanted to do. His parents had a restaurant in Israel and whenever he visited their place – as a child – he loved the hustle and bustle, the aromas, the sounds of the patrons.  He is currently Chef/Partner of 18 Restaurant on 81st Street and 2nd Avenue. I’ve watched and followed him through every area of his restaurant and – as amiable as he is outside the cooking area – it is in the kitchen that he truly comes alive as he cooks, as he talks to his staff, as he experiments with more delicious ways of preparing his fare.

I spoke to Chef Haim recently to find out what makes him tick, what it is that spurs him on. Twenty five years ago he opened his first restaurant in Beersheva with his brother, serving mostly shawarma and a few other grilled items. Three years later, he arrived in New York and opened his first venture in Forest Hills – Tel Aviv Haktanah, though very successful he did not get along with his partner.

He left for a place in Manhattan called Shelanu, which eventually evolved into Mr. Broadway. It started out with a limited Israeli menu, yet considering the demographics in and around its location, it did not work too well. Over a period of seven years they slowly introduced various new types: deli, Chinese, shawarma and sushi. With the addition of all those cuisines Mr. Broadway, soon had one of the largest menus in Manhattan. With very moderate prices and the rich selection they expanded over the years and became a very successful venture, a fixture of the New York kosher Scene.

About a year ago, Chef Dadi was ready for bigger challenges. Together with Sidney Cohen he opened up 18 Restaurant on the premises of what used to be the high end Turquoise. In spite of the high quality of its servings, Turquoise had become a victim of the new recession.

Walking into 18, with its turquoise wall and aquarium, opposite an antiqued stone wall and red fixtures, gives the impression of an upscale expensive place. A quick look, however, at the menu immediately dispels the notion of “expensive.” The food served here is of higher quality than at his former place and in the year since they’ve opened they managed to gather a faithful following that fills the restaurant every day at lunch and dinner. The sushi is superb, and coming from someone who never touched fish until two years ago, someone who never thought he’d ever taste sushi, you can take it as very high praise indeed. I can never resist ordering Chef Haim’s Yemenite Meat Soup, or his juicy hamburgers. He doesn’t serve exotic dishes, instead he specializes in a wholesome array including Eastern European, Mediterranean, sushi and deli selections. He envisions 18 as a purveyor of high quality food at reasonable prices and… the concept works!

As a young child, Haim Dadi had a dream; as a man, he’s made the dream concrete!

CS

30
Jun
10

Noah’s Ark


Smack in the middle of Cedar Lane stands Noah’s Ark (493 Cedar Lane; Teaneck, NJ 07666; Telephone: 201.692.1200) this roomy180 ft long eatery sits 190 people comfortably. Established in 1988 by a young Noam Sokolow (who started in the food industry at the tender age of 14), it has grown from a neighborhood deli style place to the largest family Glatt Kosher restaurant in all of Jersey – boasting over 140 different items on its extensive menu.

One of the sit down areas...

Get this- 20 different types of burgers!!  So many mouthwatering choices, ranging from their Lower East Side Burger ( topped with their succulent chulent and kishka), to their Ginormous Burger (a Super-Deluxe 36ozs. mouthwatering grilled burger, topped with LTO – lettuce, tomato and onions – and a side of crispy french fries). CS and I shared their BBQ Brisket Burger, topped with slow-roasted brisket, caramelized onions and their Chef’s Special BBQ Sauce, with a side of sweet potato fries and Chipottle sauce.  A glorious, perfectly cooked, fat, juicy, oversized burger topped with melt-in-your-mouth sauce.  It was thoroughly decadent and delicious!

BBQ Brisket Burger, with sweet potato fries and Chipottle sauce

Noah’s Ark likes to do things up ‘big’. Their portion sizes are huuuuge!.  Last year, as a kick-off event for the Big Apple Games – featuring an Israeli team – they entered the Guinness Book of World records with the world’s largest matzo ball – weighing in at a hefty 267 pounds.

X-Treme Combo Sampler (a very big sized plate!)

What Noam served up for us, was comparably massive, we couldn’t begin to do it justice!  We started with their X-treme Combo Appetizer of onion rings, chicken wings and chicken fingers.   All three were great.  My family happens to love chicken nuggets and these tenders rivaled any of our favorites in Brooklyn.

Nacho Appetizer Salad

We followed with a Nacho Appetizer of chopped salad mixed with Mexican spiced chopped meat, sitting on tortilla chips topped with guacamole and pareve sour cream. I found it far above similar dishes I’ve eaten at other establishments billing themselves as Mexican…

We sampled their deli favorites of Corned Beef and Pastrami on rye.  Both were reminiscent of the old Shmulke Bernstein’s on Essex – hot, fresh, tender, great quality and well seasoned.  All we missed was the side of cole slaw and Guss’s sour pickles.

I chose their popular Large Tossed Salad with Grilled Chicken, one of the many healthy additions made to the menu as their customer base became more health conscientious.

Noam’s got a really simple modus operandi – Give the customers what they want! Though he runs a tight ship with loyal long tenured staff, he claims not to be the boss, “the customers really own the restaurant.”  Noam’s totally customer driven; “If the customers walk out happy, I’m happy!”  Noah’s Ark has evolved with its customers. They, like their consumers, are more sophisticated and health savvy. Their landmark establishment is like a gastronomic family retrospective. Entire families have grown up on this delicious comfort food; sustaining folks from Bris to nuptials. Their Dove Room, celebrating simchas/private parties holds anywhere from 40-100 people at affordable rates of $35-$45 per person.

Whether for corporate or simcha events, Noah’s Ark will deliver platters and meals right to your doorstep. And if you’re on the road, not to worry, Noah’s Ark has full portion travel meals that can be Fed Ex’ed next day to your destination anywhere in the U.S. Hours of operation are M-Th 10-10 fri- 8-4 and Sunday 9:30-10. A great place to take the family; in fact, make it a tradition!

SYR

Noah's Ark Glatt Kosher on Urbanspoon




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