Archive for the 'Kosher restaurants' Category

08
Jan
14

A Conversation with Chef David Kolotkin


This evening at 10:00pm (Eastern Time), we will be talking to Chef David Kolotkin, cookbook author (The Prime Grill Cookbook)  and Corporate Chef at Prime Hospitality Group. We will discuss what makes a Chef, coming up in the ranks of today’s brigade system kitchens and much more.

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DavKoll

Those of you who’ve been faithfully reading this blog, know that both SYR and I wrote many times about Chef David, you also know that because of his superior culinary skills, because of his people skills, his down to earth – friendly – personality, he is our favorite Chef among many great ones.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, listen to our last broadcast with Sotheby‘s Senior Vice PresidentJenifer Roth – on Israeli and International Art, and the fascinating world of antique Judaica with Consultant on Books and Manuscripts, David Wachtel

Please tune us in this evening at 10:00pm  (Eastern Time) for a fascinating show, pretaped at The Prime Grill Restaurant (25 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019 – 212.692.9292). We will be waiting for you!

CS

11
Nov
13

Solo – A Chinese Variation on a Theme


Solo has always been a very classy act. Perhaps it was the red interior, accenting Solo’s newest Chinese themed cuisine, that caused a mind-melding color association with a movie I once saw called The Red Violin. A master violin maker, Nicolo Bussotti, creates a magnificent red colored violin of impeccable sound and quality; the story fans out as the violin passes among its talented owners, spanning many countries and the breadth of four centuries. Solo in many ways resembles the exquisite violin in the story. Throughout its variations from meat to dairy and back to meat in oriental presentation, Solo has – since it opened its doors – provided masterful fair, exemplary high end quality dishes, service, artful presentation, with creative recipe variations yielding delightful results. Valentino, Solo‘s manager – a mother hen, in a good way – is there from early morning until midnight, day in and day out, making sure that Solo‘s standards remain at the top of its class.

At the request of its many loyal habitués, Solo has kept some of its most popular items like cowboy steak, and beef sliders. It’s a good thing too; CS and I started off our meal with Solo‘s Yellowfin Tuna Tartar, topped with avocado mash served with kimchi and mango salsa – some variations since last we sampled it, but still perfection. Their Salmon Carpaccio…

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SoloCh1

was the ultimate example of high quality fare Solo is so famous for. You must must try the Porcini Mushroom Soup. It was just fabulous; you could wean babies on this creamy caramel colored delight. I don’t know how, but I just gotta that recipe. I could have eaten three bowls full. Maybe we’ll kidnap Eka, our trusty waiter, whom we’ve just adored for years, and torment him with heavy Jewish recipes ’til he gives up some kitchen secrets. The Hot and Sour Soup

SoloCh3

was almost as good to our palate as the mushroom soup that preceded it, though the first one remains an undisputed favorite.

We sampled two more fabulous fish dishes, check that, we devoured them! The Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass…

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with bok choy was outstanding, subtly sweet with just the right kick of pungent; the Salmon Teriyaki, cut triangles from the choicest part of top quality organic salmon, had the finest veil of spiced rice powdered crispness – again, superbly flavored! I have never enjoyed fish more.

Hagafen‘s Sauvignon Blanc 2011 accompanied our fish dishes – it showed very little personality except for its nice fruity bouquet. We switched to Hagafen‘s Pinot Noir 2011, a bit more flavorful for the meat courses that followed. Interesting Crispy Chinese Beef Balls – lemon flavored meatballs – they were uniquely lemony, moist and delicious.

Pan Seared Beef Dumplings…

SoloCh5

followed and they were light and delicious. Our final entree was the Mongolian Style Beef Filet, brought sizzling to the table, very Chinese, spicy savory, quite good. I don’t know if Chinese is the last cuisine variation that Solo will ever introduce, perhaps they will offer a fusion of just superbly crafted dishes. What I do know is that however they may vary their menu, Solo remains one of the finest orchestrations of fine dining in New York City.

SYR

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

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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

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We segued into a Falafel, Moroccan Cigars and Fries…

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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…

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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

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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.

29
Mar
12

Today’s Radio Show


This afternoon at 5:00 pm (Eastern Time), we will talk with Doris Schechter of My Most Favorite Food on BlogTalkRadio.com. Doris arrived on these shores in 1944 as part of a transport of refugees from Europe and as a guest of President Roosveldt. She eventually opened up My Most Favorite Dessert Company and in time moved her enterprise to its present location where it became a full service restaurant, combining a bakery and a cafe (beautiful and sedately elegant in its theme) – with superb fare – under the name My Most Favorite Food.

Doris is the author of two cookbooks available online and at the restaurant: At Oma’s Table and My Most Favorite Dessert Company Cookbook. She will talk to us about her coming to this country as a young kid, becoming an entrepreneur, cookbook author and succeeding at every endeavor.

Meanwhile in case you missed it, you can listen to the archive of last week’s show with cookbook author Lévana Kirschenbaum. We spoke about her newest cookbook, The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen and the concept behind “whole foods,” their health advantage and benefits.

Don’t forget to tune us in this afternoon at 5:00 pm (Eastern Time), we will talk with Doris Schechter of My Most Favorite Food on BlogTalkRadio.com. We’ll be waiting for you!

CS

02
Mar
12

KFWE 2012 – Part 4 – Videos


We started our video shoot by speaking to Jay Buchsbaum, Royal Wine Corporation‘s Vice President

Next we spoke to Sasson Ben Aharon, from Israel’s Binyamina Winery

Dr Moises Cohen from Elvi Wines a superb winery producing some of Spain’s top award winning wines..

The Directeur Général of Barons Edmond and Benjamin de Rothschild, Bertand Otto and Pierre Miodownik, consultant to the French Wine Industry, consultant to the Royal Wine Corporation and owner of Domaine Netofa, in Israel, spoke to us next…

After talking to just a few winemakers, we turned our attention to the food. Dr Alan Broner from Jack’s Gourmet was next…

The owner of Boro Park’s Glatt A La Carte spoke to us next…

Ari White from Got Tcholent? Inc/Gemstone Caterers spoke to Geila Hocherman and I…

After Ari White told us that Pardes Restaurant was his inspiration, we just had to go to their table. While I’d hoped to see Chef/Owner Chef Moshe Wendel, and/or his wife Shana, we were greeted instead by one of his suppliers Grow and Behold, who more than ably represented Chef Moshe

Then we turned to Ristorante Tevere

We ended the video taping by talking to cookbook author, James Beard Award winner, food historian and good friend, Gil Marks

All in all, between fantastic wines and celebrated winemakers, between top restaurants and incredible delicious foods,  February the 13th was an evening to remember!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2012 – Part 3 – Food

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2012 – Part 2

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2012 – Part 1

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011 – Part 2

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2011 – Part 1

2010 Kosher Restaurant & Wine Experience – The Event

17
Feb
12

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2012 – Part 3 – Food


Like fraternal twins, one can no longer give the latest buzz in kosher wine without speaking of the distinctive elegant array of kosher foods to pair it with.  CS has already shared with you the fabulous wine selections we had sampled at the show.  The culinary offerings were no less remarkable, I loved the amenity of table hopping proximity sampling bite sized servings of some of the most exclusive culinary offerings out there in the greater NY area.  Top tier restaurants caterers and food producers showed off their best gourmet delights.

Sushein

Here are some highlights.  My all time favorite in the fish category was far and away Gemstone Catering’s Ahi Poke- a hawaiin street style Ahi tuna sashimi served on a sesame wasabi crispy wonton shaped like a spoon topped with ginger & lemongrass foam. It was the perfect mouthful of harmoniously matched flavors. I would pair that with Herzog‘s Reserve Chardonnay 2009. 

got cholent? Inc/Gemstone Catering

Honorable mention goes to Sushein for their delicious sushi offerings.

River Dale from Pomegranate Supermarket, gave Geila Hocherman (Kosher Revolution) a taste of their prosciutto and she told me it was almost as good as her own duck prosciutto, I sampled their Butcher Block Honey Mustard Corned Beef and it was melt in your mouth scrumptious. etc’s steakhouse‘s Barbeque Oxtail coated with etc’s own barbeque sauce served with crushed red mashed potatoes was incredible and it looked like attendees couldn’t get enough of it.

Pardes served a smoked organically grown appetizer with meat from ‘Grow and Behold’ – Smoked Ribeye Tartare, Soy Enoki & Rice Krispies that was quite tasty.

Tevere is tevere as always incredible, and though I had no room left I had to go back for seconds of their artichokes - Carciofi alla Giudia, I would pair it with Herzog‘s Late Harvest Chenin Blanc 2010.

Dr. Alan Broner and Jack Silberstein - Jack's Gourmet

Jack’s Gourmet served me their Sweet Italian Sausage with olive oil, smashed potatoes and pepper and onion ragout.  CS, tells me  our videographer insisted on a 5 minute break to devour a few sets of their sausages!

Silverleaf  Caterers had a very nice Veal Shepard’s Pie which we followed with their Tiramisyu Cake-Up.

Silverstone Caterers Veal Sheppard's Pie

I was now ready for dessert, Basil‘s table was manned by our good friend Chef Udi Ezra (the restaurant’s Pastry Chef), he was serving a chocolate truffle pastry and introduced me to Guilty Pleasures, a few tables away. Their Very Strawberry, was just that verrrry strawbery! I loved the Bana-Bana, the Cappuccino Truffle and Toasted Almond Crunch I could see it all paired with some of Binyamina’s Liqueurs like the Limoncello, or the Sour Apple, my favorite, or perhaps the Amaretto. CS interviewed Maureen Sussanah owner/confectioner of Guilty Pleasures on last evening’s internet radio special.

All in all it was a great show with superb wines, succulent food, and lots of friends!

SYR

RELATED POSTS

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2012 – Part 2

Kosher Food & Wine Experience 2012 – Part 1




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