Archive for the 'kosher meat restaurants' Category

12
Sep
13

Grill 212


Recently, I had the pleasure of having lunch with Lévana (of the late, lamented, Lévana’s Restaurant fame) at Grill 212 (212 W. 80th Street; New York, NY 47455 – Tel: 212.724.7455) - a quaint little restaurant, with only 14 seats – in the Upper West Side. We started the meal with my favorite soup… Yemenite Beef Soup

kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

G212-1

It came with Kubana bread and Hilba Schug. The soup was flavorful, with lots of beef, the Kubana bread – straight from the oven – moist and buttery in taste, the Schug was the perfect spicy complement to it all. We followed it with a juicy, all around perfect, Hamburger and Fries

G212-2

We segued into a Falafel, Moroccan Cigars and Fries…

G212-3

Again, a complex amalgam of flavors came trough making this platter truly unforgettable. The fries were just crispy enough, the cigars and falafel balls revealed subtle nuances I had never experienced in American eateries. But the pièce de résistance was about to come…

g212-8-(1)

Molten Chocolate Coke, oozing with all the goodness and sweetness of that superb, melting, burnt amber substance. There were more desserts ranging from chocolate cake to baklava and more; each unforgettable, each a tribute to a king’s palate!

I went back for lunch, this past Tuesday. I ordered their Lamb Shish Kebob and the Kubana, while Lévana ordered Pargiot;  the portions were large enough not only to fill me up, but I took home enough leftovers to feel filled up at dinnertime. And the Elephant cookies – that I took home – were undescribable delicious, of course!

The place is small and unpretentious, the presentation could use a few pointers, but the taste…  ahhh, the taste… more than makes up for those perceived shortcomings.

I guess I’ll just have to keep going back again and again…

CS

23
Dec
12

Nobo Wine & Grill


Teaneck’s Nobo Wine & Grill (1400 Palisade Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666, Telephone: 201.837.1000), never ceases to amaze and delight. Under the direction of Executive Chef Josh Massin (formerly of Manhattan’s Mike’s Bistro), this restaurant which we reviewed before – with a different chef and a different name, though still under the same owners – redefines the meaning of “succulent.” This past Tuesday, the incomparable Lévana, treated SYR and I to this eatery.

We started our culinary adventure by sharing three appetizers: Big Eye Tuna Nicoise

kosher-scene-copyright-copy21

Big Eye Tuna Nicoise - Olive oil poach tuna, with assorted olives, capers, hard-boiled egg, frisee, cinfit campari tomatoes, raw honey emulsion, fried bread & red wine vinegar syrup.

Big Eye Tuna Nicoise – Olive oil poach tuna, with assorted olives, capers, hard-boiled egg, frisee, cinfit campari tomatoes, raw honey emulsion, fried bread & red wine vinegar syrup.

Traditional Cassoulet

Traditional Cassoulet - Bean stew with duck confit, veal sausage, veal bacon & roasted bone marrow on the side.

Traditional Cassoulet – Bean stew with duck confit, veal sausage, veal bacon & roasted bone marrow on the side.

…and Wild Mushroom Risotto. The tuna in syrup, tasted heavenly with a subtle citrusy flavor and sides that perfectly complemented it; the cassoulet was quite reminiscent of a fine cholent, in fact Chef Josh told us that cholent (or chaud lent) was most likely based on this French delicacy. The marrow bone was – for me – a superb touch, after all as a kid I used to fight my dad for these bones. After all these years, after all the changes in palette, nothing compares to a great marrow bone. Hmm, hmm!  The risotto came with parsley puree, salamesian and white truffle oil, strongly flavored and delicious!

We then proceeded to share three mains: Boneless Braised BBQ Short Ribs

Boneless Braised BBQ short Ribs - with roasted garlic & rutabaga mash, smoky cannellini beans, leek sauce, maple syrup infused barbeque sauce.

Boneless Braised BBQ short Ribs – with roasted garlic & rutabaga mash, smoky cannellini beans, leek sauce, maple syrup infused barbeque sauce.

The short ribs, and sides, brought in a beautiful tapestry of perfectly balanced flavors and tender, juicy meat!

We then proceeded with a Crispy Skin Poached Dark Skin Meat Chicken, it consisted of smoky white wine, braised savoy cabbage, local Rusian fingerling potatoes, chicken sausage dumplings, braised leeks, red pepper aioli and garlic crouton. Incredibly flavorful with an orangey taste, and very juicy. We loved it!

But the pièce de résistance was the Butcher’s Cut Steak, not on the regular menu and not always available, it was recommended by the Chef. Cooked sous vide* it came with sauteed haricot vert and Yukon Gold potatoes. It came medium rare, it was superbly tasty, soft like butter and very juicy.

We washed it all down with Segal Merlot 2011, it was adequate without being overpowering

For dessert, in a tremendous display of self restraint, we shared a single Peanut Butter Chocolate torte, with a Lace Cookie and a Cinnamon Ice Cream. Ahhh, a perfect cap to a perfect meal!

A perfect ending!

Just the right ending!

With a very attentive, unassuming Chef, great food, superb company and just the right ambiance… who can ask for more?

CS

*Sous Vide – From the French “under vacuum.” The ingredients are slowly cooked (for as long as 72 hours) in a water bath – while sealed in airtight plastic – as a result the natural juices and flavors stayed undiluted with whatever ingredient is so cooked. The reason for this method of cooking is to cook the item evenly, without overcooking the outside as the inside gets the same amount of donenness, with all around juicier results. Meat, using this method is cooked between 131F. to 140F. Vegetables need a higher temperature.

19
Nov
12

Prime at the Bentley Hotel


Last Thursday Meyer Harroch (newyorkjewishguide.com) and I, went to the brand new Prime at the Bentley (500 East 62nd Street, New York 10065, 21st Floor – Tel: 212.933.9733).

Upstairs, downstairs (partial views)

The view of the East River, Queensboro Bridge and skyline is truly breathtaking! But… as amazing as the view is, the main reason one goes to a restaurant is the food. Having heard conflicting reports about the first few weeks, yet having been many a time to Prime Hospitality’s other superb venues I was not sure what to expect. Were the naysayers right? Were they spoiled brats? Was this new restaurant experiencing painful birth pangs as it first opened its doors?

Meyer started the meal with House Made Italian Sausage in a Blanket

Italian Sausage in a Blanket

I went for their Ocean Parfait sashimi combination served in a martini glass. Taste and presentation were great; a nice beginning, but what lay ahead?

While Meyer segued with a large Bentley Burger, I went for their Organic Irish Salmon

Organic Salmon

Tender, juicy and flavorful, perfect on all counts! The French fries that came with the burger were spiced just right!

Next we had Kobe Beef Sliders and Long Island Duck Sliders, cooked to perfections (at least to my taste – medium well), spiced just right and very juicy.

We followed with Steak and Frittes and a Flatiron Steak…

Steak and Frittes

With Chef David Kolotkin at its helm it’s no wonder Prime Grill has become the kosher steakhouse par excellence; Prime at the Bentley has inherited the same art of succulence in steaks. For side dishes we had Haricot Vert with Sundried Tomatoes…

Haricots Vert with Sundried Tomatoes

…and Kobacha Squash. This squash, a native of New Zealand, has a taste reminiscent of chestnuts with a hint of sweetness – perfect match for incredible steaks.

The service was good, whatever may have have caused complaints when it first opened, had obviously been remedied. Within an hour of opening for dinner, the restaurant had nary an empty seat, a fitting tribute to the upscale locale and the delicious food.

CS

02
Nov
12

Rabbi Yaakov Spivak’s Shiur at Talia’s


Last Sunday, October 28th, Talia’s [668 Amsterdam Avenue (between 92nd & 93rd Streets) New York; NY 10025; Telephone: 212.580.3770] hosted a brunch with Rabbi Yaakov Spivak who in his unique analytical style gave an insightful shiur on Avraham Avinu, The Man of Seeming Contradictions.

He spoke of how courageously, armed merely with his faith in Hakadosh Baruch Hu, he withstood all outside pressures and created a new faith, showing the real truth, the real meaning of our life on this lowly plane of existence.

Chef Oren and his sous chef

The food was quite good; I had a Pasta Bolognaise, prepared by Chef Oren. It consisted of rigatoni, ground beef and a nice subtle tomato sauce.

I hope there will be many more such Brunch and Limmud occasions at Talia’s

CS

19
Jul
12

Revisiting Sòlo


When you have a meeting, date or get together over food that needs to go flawlessly, Sòlo (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.833.7800 – in the atrium of the SONY building) is the place to be. A swank counterpart to the high tech-upscale Sony building and atrium it’s located in, Sòlo is what contemporary high class chic tastes like. From its sleek artsy glass exterior wall – flanked through by oil with infused vegetables – down to its impeccably styled up-scale food presentation, Sòlo defines high quality cuisine; the fact that it’s under strict kosher supervision is sub-rosa fringe to its superb fare and service.

Chef-de-cuisine Guillermo Quiroz, trained by Chef David Kolotkin was just a delightful; the look of pride as he brought and explained each dish, knowing without a doubt we would be as pleased to eat as he was to present it, added to the experience.

We stated our feast with a Big Eye Tuna Tartar accompanied by avocado, citrus, mango and chips. It was very fresh, succulent, and not in the least bit fishy tasting (a great start to a great meal!).

We followed with another appetizer, Crispy Veal Sweetbreads, it came with celery root and Bosc pear puree, Swiss chard in a pomegranate reduction. Since I do not – on principle – eat veal, CS had it all to himself. Considering he cleaned the plate, I believed him when he described it as “superbly spiced, and absolutely delicious.”

Beef Carpaccio with spinach and grilled endive salad in a mustard and lemon vinaigrette came next. Well seasoned, beautifully presented, just perfect.

Next, came the pièce de résistance. We got the Roasted BBQ Short Ribs, sides were German potato salad and cauliflower puree. They reminded me of Mike’s Bistro‘s ribs. Sauce and flavors were excellent, the beef superbly tender, yet not overcooked.

Typical Uruguayan that he is, CS preferred the 8 oz Black Angus Steak au Poivre (available in 16 oz. as well), with caramelized onion puree, basil mash potatoes, and grilled asparagus in a red wine sauce. It was very flavorful, the crisp pepper top was just right, I just loved the wine sauce and onion puree combo. It’s hard to believe that in spite of its flavor, in spite of its tenderness, it was not aged meat.

The last main was a Pan Seared Black Angus Filet with turnip puree, mushroom ragout and fingerling potatoes in red wine sauce. Superb fare!

We washed it all down with a very good Binyamina Shiraz 2007, served to us by our favorite waiter, the multi-talented Eka Halim (he’s a professional photographer, as comfortable on a fashion shoot as on a bar mitzvah!). CS described the wine thus, “Deep garnet in color, medium bodied with soft tannins and a gentle wood influence. Smooth, round wine with blackberry and plum notes, with hints of tar and licorice.”

For dessert we shared two incredible creations by Pastry Chef Felencia Darius, now at Prime Butcher Baker. Warm Chocolate Cake with gingerbread ice cream and espresso sauce, the molten chocolate cake was superb and so was the sauce, but I expected more from the ice cream.

The evening’s crown, however, belongs to the Hazelnut Rocher, a hazelnut mousse with vanilla cream and a candied nut shell. Take my advise, folks, do not even think of leaving Sòlo without trying this one!

We had reservations for 6:00pm, by the time we finished at around 7:30pm there was not a single free table, not even in the private alcove we were in. People obviously know what’s good.

Though it was a superb dinner, and one that guarantees we’ll keep on revisiting again and again, we do have a minor criticism. We wish the presentations, as beautiful as they were, showed less repetitiveness.

SYR

Both Sòlo and its sister restaurant Prime Grill have a

Nine Day Menu.

27
Apr
12

Chef’s Profile – Ladino’s Alexandre Petard


Chef Alexandre Petard from Ladino – Tapas Bar and Grill (940 Eighth Avenue, between 56th and 55th Street in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle area), never imagined himself as anything other than a Chef. At 14, he began cooking in his father’s French restaurants and continued his formal training in his native France.

After graduation, Alexandre moved on to the UK – spending several years polishing his English and honing his culinary skills in various cuisines and techniques. Returning to France, he became French Defense Minister’s Chef; he followed that stint by coming to New York to further perfect his skills – in 1996 – where he expected to stay for only eighteen months. Although he was expected to return to France to run his father’s restaurants… he’s still here, luckily for us!

Locally, Chef Alexandre has worked at such prestigious prestigious as Jean Georges, Lespinasse, and Les Halles. In the kosher scene, he ran the prestigious kitchens of the Boxtree (probably New York’s foremost French restaurant, in its day) and La Carne Grill. Using vision built on years of talent and expertise, Ladino‘s concept was born; Alexandre was convinced that for an eatery to succeed in Manhattan – in a high rent, high expectation district – the establishment has to be more than just a place to eat.

Customers want ambiance in the restaurants they frequent. They want to be entertained, to be seduced by its good food and pleasant atmosphere. To create an environment reflective of his vision, Ladino‘s walls are painted in Mexican like adobe, adorned with Diego Rivera frescoes – painted by Uruguayan artist, Alex Morales. Resuming after Shavuot, musicians Hernan Romero (on guitar) and Carmen Estevez (as the percussionist), will provide live music (instrumentals only!) every motzey Shabbat.

As you will hear on our broadcast next Wednesday, at 8:00pm (Eastern Time), Chef Alexandre Petard has put a lot of thought and effort in creating an authentic atmosphere at Ladino. His dream was to create a place that attracts Jews of all degrees of religiosity as well as non-Jews who want to enjoy the unique flavors of Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese cuisines and experience the distinctive atmosphere of such a locale. In this, he has succeeded.

CS

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

25
Jul
11

This Week’s Events…


The $32.00 Prix Fixe Special Menu at 18 Restaurant continues:

240 East 81st Street, New York - (212) 517-2400

THE KOSHER SCENE SPECIAL DINNER PRIX FIXE MENU

$32.00 per person, tax and gratuities not included. All wine, beer and alcohol billed separately.
Any item ordered, not on the Prefix will be billed separately

May not be used in conjunction with ANY other special

APPETIZER

Combination Platters:

Humus, Babaganuosh, Turkish Salad, Tahini

Mixed Green Salads

Assorted Breads

ENTREE

Eighteen Mixed Grill Kebob Special Combo Platter:

Chicken

Beef

Side Dishes: Choice of 2

grilled vegetables

french fries

mashed potatoes

basmati rice

DESSERT

Coffee/tea

Assorted Rugelach or Slice of Cake

Cold beverage (non alcohol) included

The food’s delicious, the price is very reasonable, the portions are generous, the ambiance is elegantly casual, a perfect eatery to take your wife, your date or the family. Go ahead, treat yourself! All of you deserve it. (For this Prix Fixe, please print out the following  .pdf)

18 Restaurant
240 East 81st. Street (map)
New York, NY
Telephone 212.517.2400
www.eighteenrestaurant.com

With the Nine Days fast approaching, tonight’s cooking demo by Lévana features:

Monday, July 25th

The meatless feast. Gluten-free

The nine days are almost upon us. Thank Goodness we hear less and less grumbling about being “limited” to meatless dining: Incidentally, this is the way we eat at home all week, so no hardship here, only delicious treats, with sizzling international flavors.

  • White gazpacho
  • Artichokes and carrots in lemon sauce
  • Mock crab cakes with red pepper coulis
  • Linguini with roasted cauliflower and bread crumbs topping
  • Green fruit salad
  • Pecan lace cookies.
Enjoy 18 Restaurant and Lévana’s Dinner and Show, gentle reader.
CS
17
Jul
11

Events of the Week


Just because it’s summer and Brooklyn’s Jewish neighborhoods’ street are half empty doesn’t mean that New York has become a ghost town. Kosher events abound and our favorites for this coming week are:

Monday, July 18th at 7:00pm (Eastern Time)

Lévana’s Moroccan Feast Part 2: Salad Buffet

Please make certain to register to the demo, as the venue has moved to my apartment!

We grew up eating no end of salads at almost every meal: Is it any wonder we loved our veggies and ate them without any prompting? I am even including a dessert salad. True to form, we will bake an authentic Moroccan bread to go with the feast so we don’t leave a drop of sauce behind (this bread is the only item on the menu that will not be gluten-free).

I’ll be demonstrating:

  • Matbookha
  • Grated carrot salad
  • Roasted pepper salad
  • Spicy lettuce and chick pea salad with salmon
  • Tomato salad
  • Eggplant salad
  • Minted orange, endive and romaine salad
  • Moroccan Bread

Click Here to Register!

Registrations: A gentle reminder – Please register at least two days before any cooking class demo so A) We know for sure we have a demo going, and B) We have ample servings!

P.S. Throw in a C) – It makes my life easier :-) P.P.S. Throw in a D) I’ll give you a free signed copy of my new cookbook if you bring a new friend!

Also starting tomorrow you can take advantage of a great, reasonably priced menu at 18 Restaurant:

240 East 81st Street, New York - (212) 517-2400

THE KOSHER SCENE SPECIAL DINNER PRIX FIXE MENU

$32.00 per person, tax and gratuities not included. All wine, beer and alcohol billed separately.
Any item ordered, not on the Prefix will be billed separately

May not be used in conjunction with ANY other special

APPETIZER

Combination Platters:

Humus, Babaganuosh, Turkish Salad, Tahini

Mixed Green Salads

Assorted Breads

Photo by: seamlessweb.com

ENTREE

Eighteen Mixed Grill Kebob Special Combo Platter:

Chicken

Beef

Side Dishes: Choice of 2

grilled vegetables

french fries

mashed potatoes

basmati rice

DESSERT

Coffee/tea

Assorted Rugelach or Slice of Cake

Cold beverage (non alcohol) included

The food’s delicious, the price is very reasonable, the portions are generous, the ambiance is elegantly casual, a perfect eatery to take your wife, your date or the family. Go ahead, treat yourself! All of you deserve it. (For this Prix Fixe, please print out the following  .pdf)

18 Restaurant
240 East 81st. Street (map)
New York, NY
Telephone 212.517.2400
www.eighteenrestaurant.com

CS

07
Jul
11

The Kosher Scene’s Prix Fixe Special at 18 Restaurant


It’s summer and you don’t feel like cooking every evening, besides the kids are likely in camp and it’s just the two of you at home. Why not let someone else do the cooking and avoid the preparation time and the cleanup? Of course, you want reasonable prices, so… with the lazy days of summer in mind we bring you (starting on July 18th):

18 Restaurant

240 East 81st Street, New York - (212) 517-2400

THE KOSHER SCENE SPECIAL DINNER PREFIX MENU

$32.00 per person, tax and gratuities not included. All wine, beer and alcohol billed separately.
Any item not on the Prefix will be billed separately

May not be used in conjunction with ANY other special

APPETIZER

Combination Platters:

Humus, Babaganuosh, Turkish Salad, Tahini

Mixed Green Salads

Assorted Breads

Photo by: seamlessweb.com

ENTREE

Eighteen Mixed Grill Kebob Special Combo Platter:

Chicken

Beef

Side Dishes: Choice of 2

grilled vegetables

french fries

mashed potatoes

basmati rice

DESSERT

Coffee/tea

Assorted Rugelach or Slice of Cake

Cold beverage (non alcohol) included

The food’s delicious, the price is very reasonable, the portions are generous, the ambiance is elegantly casual, a perfect eatery to take your wife, your date or the family. Go ahead, treat yourself! All of you deserve it. (For this Pris Fixe, please print out the following  .pdf)

18 Restaurant
240 East 81st. Street (map)
New York, NY
Telephone 212.517.2400
www.eighteenrestaurant.com

CS




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