Archive for the 'Kosher restaurants' Category



10
Jan
11

And Our Upcoming Wednesday’s Internet Radio Show Guest Will Be…


Gil Marks

We had a great show this past Wednesday with Gil Marks whose knowledge of all things food is truly encyclopedic. If you missed the show you can hear it here. It was fascinating to delve into the traditions of food, what’s behind a name, it was/it is well worth a listen.

This upcoming Wednesday’s show will feature another fascinating guest, Nina Shapir, a Brooklyn restaurateur with a difference. Who is Nina Shapir? I’ve spoken to her when The Kosher scene reviewed her Natural Village Cafe and this were my impressions:

Nina Shapir, who presides over this eatery is truly a fascinating personality, the personal journey that changed her life and motivated her to open this establishment is full of commitment and dedication.

Fourteen years ago, Mrs. Shapir – a very young mother of three – found herself sick and unable to move, unable to cope. It was not a question of being financially overwhelmed, any such concerns were well taken care of. Medical tests and treatments produced no positive results, on the contrary things inexplicably kept getting worse. She met Harav Chay Azoulay, from Herzliya, who told her the real malady was not physical but rather one that affected her neshama. After some thought, trying to make sense of Rav Azulay’s words, she went on a detox diet with the help of healthfood stores, intent on ridding herself of all negative energies. This decision was followed by six very hard weeks before she saw any measurable improvements but soon after she was her old active, curious, intelligent, enterprising self again.

At this stage, Nina decided to help others who, though similarly afflicted, may not be aware of the real source of their health troubles. She went on to study Healing Arts at The School of Natural Healing in Utah from which she graduated. Seven years ago her first organic restaurant opened its doors. Her partner, however, was not frum and it proved frustrating, eventually Nina bought her out. In 2008 she moved to the present location which combines her personal philosophy, her exquisite sense of aesthetics and the true love of a foodie for superb fare. She also has an an office adjacent to the restaurant where she treats the many in search of natural healing.

Please listen in on our show on Wednesday at 8:00pm on Jewish Radio Network. Click on the red “here” under the white “Radio,” then wait about 90 to 180 seconds for the application to start streaming.

CS

10
Dec
10

Chicken Tikka Masala


Chef Vijay Jagtiani has been an Executive Chef for over 26 years. He trained in India at the prestigious Bombay Catering College for 3 years and has worked all over the world in the finest Indian restaurants. He came to the United States in 1993 and quickly emerged as a chef known for getting the most out of a vast array of unique spices when developing his succulent sauces as well as a Tandoor oven guru. Chef Jagtiani was the executive chef at Jewel of India in NYC for many years and then took over the kitchen at the prestigious Shaan at Rockefeller Center. After opening up several successful non Kosher Indian restaurants on his own, Chef Jagtiani joined forces with the owners of Shalom Bombay to enter the world of Glatt Kosher Indian Cusine.

Chef Vijay has graciously shared this recipe with us:

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients:
  • 5 Tablespoons Oil
  • 2 Medium Onions  (chopped)
  • 1 Tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ginger and Garlic paste (ground into a combined paste)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Egg Shade or Orange Color Food coloring
  • 3 boneless chicken breasts cubed
  • 3 Tablespoons of Non Dairy Creamer
  • 1 Cup Water

Directions

  1. Heat Oil in Large Skillet
  2. Sautee Onions until brown
  3. Add Tomato and simmer for 5 minutes
  4. Add Salt, coriander powder, red chile powder, paprika and garlic/ginger paste
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes
  6. Add 1 cup of water and food coloring
  7. Add Chicken pieces
  8. Cook for 10 minutes
  9. Add Non Dairy Creamer and cook for another 2-3 minutes

Serve with Basmati Rice
Yields 4 servings

Shalom Bombay has two locations:

Manhattan
344 Lexington Avenue – between 39th and 40th – New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212.922.0224 – Fax: 212.922.0124

Teaneck
166 Cedar Lane, Teaneck, NJ 07666; Tel: 201.357.8505

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy!

CS

RELATED POSTS

Shalom Bombay

Chicken Tikka Masala (kosher)

03
Dec
10

Jeff Nathan’s Rosemary Potato Latkes with Honey Drizzle


Hanukkah at Abigael’s on Broadway

Gift Giving Special ~ Buy One, Get One
All gift cards ordered now through December 31st, 2010
will receive a 10 % additional card.

$ 100 gift card gets you a $ 10 gift card
$ 200 gift card gets you a $ 20 gift card

Each day of Hanukkah will feature three latke selections
~Savory or sweet, each one will be a treat!

407 Broadway – at 39th Street, New York, NY; Tel: 212.575.1407

—)x0x0x(—

Chef Jeff Nathan, from Abigael’s, has graciously agreed to share this delicious latke recipe.

Jeff Nathan’s Rosemary Potato Latkes with Honey Drizzle

Pareve
Makes about 20 latkes, 5 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large russet potatoes (2 pounds)
  • 1 pound yellow onions (1 pound)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, rough chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil, for fryinghoney, (use varying flavors of honey for added taste, ie: clover, lavender, pine, blueberry)

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200°F. Line a baking sheet with papertowels.
  2. Using the large holes of a box grater or the grating disk of a food processor, alternately grate thepotatoes and onions into a work bowl (this provides better distribution of the onions). Using your hands,squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the potato mixture. Add the eggs, flour, parsley, garlic,rosemary and mint. Add in the salt and pepper, and mix well.
  3. Add enough oil to a large, deep skillet to come 1/2-inch up the sides. Do not skimp! Heat over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. In batches without crowding, using about 1/4 cup of the potatomixture for each pancake, carefully add the mixture to the oil, spreading it with a spoon to make 3-inchpancakes. Fry, turning once, until deep golden brown on both sides. Use a slotted spatula to transfer tothe baking sheet. Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven while making the remaining pancakes.Drain off any excess liquid that forms in the bowl as you make subsequent batches.
  4. Serve hot drizzled with honey.

Enjoy, gentle reader, enjoy. I can’t wait to try it!

CS

24
Nov
10

Thanksgiving Specials


Are you planning a Thanksgiving meal? Why patchke in the kitchen for hours? Here are some restaurants with Thanksgiving Specials!


240 E. 81ST STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10028
TEL: 212.517.2400 — FAX:212.517.2401
www.eighteenrestaurant.com
(Please call to make reservations)


EIGHTEEN THANKSGIVING DINNER MENU

Adults $35.99 per person and kids $29.99 per person. ( we will be serving family style on the table)

APPETIZERS:

Choice of:

ISRAELI SALAD

or

CHICKEN SOUP with Noodles

MAIN COURSE:

*TURKEY with Gravy

STUFFING

SWEET POTATO

MASHED POTATO

CRANBERRY DELIGHT

ASSORTED GRILLED VEGETABLES

*Salmon can be substituted for Turkey

DESSERT:

Choice of

PUMPKIN PIE

or

PECAN PIE

BEVERAGE:

Choice of one

SODA

COFFEE

TEA

–)x0x(–

Photo credit: Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine -2006 Cover-

Abigael’s on Broadway

Tel: 212-575-1407 — Fax: 212-869-0666
Web: www.abigaels.com

Thanksgiving – November 25, 2010

APPETIZER

Butternut Squash Bisque –  7.50
Autumn spices

Smoked Beef Flanken Soup — 8.50
with vegetables, potatoes and herbs

Guacamole — 13.50
avocado with plum tomatoes, red onions and chiles,
with fresh squeezed lime juice and house made corn chips

Award Winning Chili — 14.50
slowly smoked with hickory; blended with onions, tomatoes, spices and beans

Wild Mushroom Polenta — 13.50
slow simmered soft polenta, topped with sautéed wild mushrooms
and fresh herbs, drizzled with white truffle oil

Popcorn Chicken — 14.50
fried golden, tossed with herbs, lemon and cayenne drizzle

SALAD

Caesar Salad — 10.50
the classic dressing with a hint of anchovy and toasted croutons

Abigael’s House Salad — 10.50
Autumn greens tossed with local harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, chickpeas,
roasted garlic, currants, slivered almonds and a balsamic vinaigrette

Autumn Harvest Salad — 10.50
strawberries, cranberries, wild rice and candied pecans
with Autumn greens and honey-citrus vinaigrette

MAIN COURSE

Cider Roasted Turkey — 28.50
The American Classic…
apple and sweet fennel sausage stuffing, herbed gravy, onion-sage whipped potatoes
and cranberry-orange relish
~ dark meat served upon request ~

Chicken Dijon — 26.50
a petite ballantine with sausage and sweet pepper stuffing paired
with a pan seared boneless breast in a light sauce of Dijon mustard and white wine

Aged Rib Eye Steak — 36.50
chargrilled and served with steak fries and caramelized onions

Cedar Plank Salmon — 26.50
oven roasted and served with scallion whipped potatoes,
string beans and barbecue vinaigrette

Prime Rib of Beef — 36.50
pepper & rosemary crusted, served with natural pan gravy
and onion-sage whipped potatoes

Additional Children’s, Sushi, Wine and Dessert menus will also be available.
Vegetarian selections will also be offered.
Children’s Menu for 12 years old and younger.
For parties of 8 or more, an 18% service fee will be added to your check.

–)x0x(–

T Fusion Steakhouse
3223 Quentin Road (Corner of East 33rd Street)
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11234
718-62-STEAK

Thanksgiving Menu

First Course- Choice of One

  • Tuscan Bean and Turkey Soup (8)
  • Minestrone Soup (7)
  • Roasted Butternut Squash Salad (15)
    Mixed Mescaline Greens, Candied Walnuts, Slivered Red Onions, Apples, Avocado, Butternut Squash, and Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Second Course- Choice of One / 4 Course Menu Option Only

  • BBQ Pulled Turkey Sliders (12)
    Served on a Brioche Mini Bun, accompanied by House Fries
  • Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Risotto (11)
    Mixed Wild Mushroom Medley, Roasted Butternut Squash and Creamy
    Arborio Rice
  • Swedish Veal Meatballs (16)
    Served with a Cranberry and Corn Succotash, and a Sweet Tomato Sauce

Third Course- Choice of One

  • Sage and Cider Glazed Turkey (28)
    Choice of Dark Meat or White Meat
    Served with Cranberry Chutney, Challah bread Stuffing, and Sautéed Green beans with candied walnuts
  • Turkey and Apricot Meatloaf (27)
    Served with Thyme and Honey Roasted Sweet Potato Mash, Cranberry
    Chutney, and Roasted Root Vegetables

Fourth Course- Choice of One

  • Warm Apple and Cranberry Crumble (9)
    Served with Parve Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Three Tier Chocolate Mouse Cake (8)

(Choice of 3 Course Menu $35.95 Or 4 Course Menu $45.95)

Please note:

  • Prix fixe menu cannot be changed.
  • Each item can be ordered separately accompanying our regular menu
02
Nov
10

Thank You!!


Photo by: Aquafornia

How time flies! When we started (on November 2nd, 2009) we were not sure if we’d still be blogging a year later. Would we get any regular readers? Would anybody really be interested in our thoughts? Could we say something, could we sound different, from far more established bloggers and existing websites? A 171 posts and a later later, we realize our hopes are slowly materializing. Most of the exhibitors we spoke to, at last week’s Kosherfest, had heard of us; an impressive number of them had actually seen and read these pages here and abroad.

We constantly meet people who follow our musings regularly. As beginning bloggers, who wondered for how long we would be able to post once or occasionally twice a week, we suddenly find a lot of material that interests our readership. We’ve been told our writing styles are refreshing, our photography mouth watering. Even non-Jewish publications and blogs have noticed us. But I must confide in you, IF we are any good at what we do it is only because we love our subject matter… we are foodies!

During this past year, we’ve sampled some of the top kosher eateries, (from Chinese to Middle Eastern cuisine, from Japanese to French, to Italian, to American, to Fusion, we’ve tasted them) met some amazing chefs – people full of creative energy and an uncanny understanding of the nuances of flavor. We’ve learned and continue learning a lot, about food, about wine; above all, as we forge new relationships with chefs, with restaurateurs, with manufacturers of kosher products, with cookbook authors, with winemakers around the world, etc., we are often told personal stories that prove that even those who excel at their craft are just humans like the rest of us. What drives them to succeed? What fuels their drive? Simple, it is their passion for food, their passion to prove that kosher need not be a second class cuisine. Yes, cooking kosher, manufacturing kosher products, may be a bit more challenging… but, it is precisely those challenges that spur them on, that excites their creative juices. Kosher has come a long way!!!

But what SYR and I are most grateful for, gentle reader – what helped us the most – were your suggestions, your words of encouragement.

What lies ahead is exciting, we plan many a contest for this upcoming year and are at this very moment negotiating the prizes. We plan on bringing you guest posts by well known Chefs, as well as outstanding recipes from professionals and from housewives who almost daily improve, create, or adapt delicious new dishes. We will also bring you reviews of amazing new products. And, of course, we will continue to review kosher restaurants and often we will write about our revisits to favorite eateries.

Right now and until November the 18th, we are running a contest based on recipes from any of Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design series. Send us your best photo of any of Susie’s 900 plus recipes and you may win her latest cookbook: Kosher by Design Teens and 20 Somethings, meanwhile you can download the complete recipe index at: http://bit.ly/KBDrecipeindex. Email us your best to:

kosherscene@gmail.com

Our first year was productive and we are proud of how we grew, but there is so much more to accomplish. Thank you, gentle reader, we could never have gotten here without you.

CS

11
Oct
10

Preserving or Policing the Dilemma?


Basil, a great little kosher neighborhood restaurant, sitting on the periphery of the Lubavitcher community finds itself caught in the middle of a socio-religious maelstrom, one that has even attracted the scrutinizing eye of the New York Times Magazine (provocative stories about religious Jews do sell papers!). Basil has an urban chic that  draws a diverse clientele.  Now it seems that this unlikely utopian gastronomic convergence is causing a bit of an uproar.

It’s ironic that one of the hallmarks of the Lubavitcher community is its uncanny ability to plant branches in even the most remote areas around the globe, offering friendly outreach services that attract affiliated and unaffiliated Jews. Often you’ll find Lubavitcher shluchim inviting Jews to connect and come closer to their spiritual heritage through the mitzvah of Sabbath candle lighting, or donning philacteries, shaking a lulav, or offering assistance to travelers by joining them for prayers, a meal or a farbrengen (a chassidic gathering where various aspects of chassidus are taught, stories the past are told, etc.). So, here we are in their homestead – the 770 heartland – and chillin’ Basil is getting more than it’s share of being chilled out by protesting neighbors and others seemingly concerned for the spiritual well being of their community.

Their kosher supervising organization has been called in to check up, not on their kashrut protocols which are being adhered to the letter, but on those entering the restaurant and whether the eatery is putting their Jewish clientele in some sort of spiritual jeopardy by allowing all manner of clients and get up to enter their premises. Tell me, gentle reader, are we so fragile that we need this kind of policing?  Do we really need to remove ourselves from our very environs in order to thrive and survive? Should we return to the ghettoes of yesteryear Europe? Shall we perhaps move into a 21st century American version of Rome’s 2000 year old Lungotevere Cenci – right next to the ruins of the Roman Forum and a few blocks from the Colisseum – where some Roman Jews still live, surrounded by fortress like walls with the Papal Arms at the gate? Where do we draw the line on what a supervisory organization can or cannot control in its granting of supervision? If they don’t like the music being played or who walks in off the street for a snack or a drink, can they pull their kosher certification?  Clearly, we have the tenets of kashrus which must be followed scrupulously, and we understand that Basil does so.

Photo by: brownstoner.com

When we interviewed Chef Adam, the first time we visited Basil, he mentioned – in passing – how time consuming it was to check the vegetables for bugs and how their culinary artistry is somewhat limited by the constraints of the high standards of kashrus they have to adhere to; yet, he was very proud of the fact that given the constraints they were still able to deliver the high quality and taste that brings customers back time and again.

We remember how Clara, the manager, discussed the attire and attitude of the staff as representing not just a place to eat, but also adhering and respecting the values of the Lubavitch community in whose midst they are located. When some felt the music had too much of a hip beat, Basil‘s management changed it to classical, which didn’t really detract at all (frankly, I thought it made it classier). But… the complaints continued; some protested the type of clientele, some objected to immodest modes of dress, others about speech and behavior, and talk swarmed around to whether kosher certification should be revoked if Basil allows such clients into their restaurant.

I suppose they could have a dress code – as some of the finer restaurants do – jacket and tie- no bare feet, no whatever… should they ban bare shoulders? short skirts? tattoos? foul language? touching? I mean, where do you draw the line? Should they start policing? Should they start handing out shawls, skirts and fig leaves to cover any uncovered areas?

Should the supervising organization threaten to remove their certification if they observe immodest clients eating or snuggling at the restaurant? Should such a dress and behavioral code be enforced throughout the NYC tri-state area? You can be sure that if such enforcement ever takes root, many a prestigious eatery will turn to less qualified, less careful kashrus organizations and the losers will be all of us – the kosher consumers. The fact remains that many of the higher end kosher establishments could not make it if their clientele consisted strictly of Orthodox Jews . I can just see our metropolis now – business men and women being thrown out of the finest kosher dining establishments because a dress is cut too low or a couple has been caught hugging or smooching between courses? Should we require horse blinders for humans and sell them at Basil‘s counter along with the frappé and cappuccino?

We live IN the world, not OUTSIDE of it. The true man of G-d knows how to walk among men and hold his own, gird his loins, look away when necessary, and mind his own counsel despite his surroundings. A true Jew knows how to be a beacon of light by living the Torah and not snuffing out all that glitters. We are the nation that since many a millenia has been turning sparks of ensoulment into huge flames of spiritual warmth and enlightenment. We hold our own in diversity and that is what makes us strong, that is what allowed us to endure after every mighty nation of yore is remembered mostly by its ever present ruins and tales of past glory.

Every upscale kosher restaurant and almost every other kind is constantly faced with the dilemma, but… guess what? A restaurant is not a shul, it is a public place and anyone might come in. Those who are bothered by the proximity of someone who does not meet their standards are under no obligation to patronize such an establishment.

What do you think, gentle reader? We’d love to hear your comments, pro or con.

SYR

05
Jul
10

Saddle-up for Some Fine Fixins’ at Smokey Joe’s!


You don’t have to be a Texas long-horn to enjoy this round-up of superbly smoked and southern rustic Tex Mex cuisine at Smokey Joe’s (494 Cedar Lane; Teaneck, NJ. 07666; Telephone: 201.836.7427).  Décor is sun-burnt orange against ranch-rawhide woodsy panels; Marlboro manly man and stallion photos adorning the walls. Brown butcher block paper covers tables set with colorful southwestern china (don’t forget to ask Joe for doodling crayons).

A partial view of the dining area

Joe, the owner, looked for a unique niche in the market and not only found one, but honed it like an art form till it yielded a product that fills the house on a regular basis. Joe, or Yossi to his chevra, told us “Food is life; food is kodesh.” “It’s about craft and high quality. You’ve got to give it the time and attention it takes to develop.” And indeed Joe has done so. His 74” smoker (which he lovingly dubbed Dimona-2) is the nucleus of his operation, but just as important is his approach to food and business. “You’re not producing a widget or stereo; my personal commitment to making great food is a life-time journey!” “It’s also about having a good sense of hospitality when Jews come calling at your restaurant. It’s a little different than the hachnassas orchim (welcoming guests) we do at home.” Joe certainly shared that hospitality with us.

...it was hard to keep myself from reaching into that smoker... I confess...

Joe served up vittles Stephen J. Austin or Sam Houston would raise armies to fight for! The table started to fill up with outstanding home made cornbread with onion jam spread (you got to taste ‘em together to understand how awesome those flavors are together), refreshing iced tea and fresh squeezed lemon-ade and home made. Still warm tortilla chip (seriously, dangerously, addictive!) with freshly made guacamole for starters.

We were then treated to an assortment of Smokey Joe’s favorites. The Joe Dawg, the lamb merguez sausages, were marvelous; superbly smoked and flavored.

Lamb Merguez Joe Dawg

They’ve got six types to choose from, it wasn’t easy deciding which to try…

We then demolished their Beef Brisket (well… really… CS did, he kindly let me have one forkful before it was gone!) – smoked for up to 14 hours. The smoked taste did not overpower the brisket taste which was rich, marvelous. In a very uncharacteristic (well you saw the pictures of those ribs, how can you blame me?) uninhibited Flinstonian way, I dug into their long ribs which had been basted in a secret BBQ rub and smoked for around 5 hours in Dimona-2. (Surely, not first date action, unless you want to provide an instant inhibitions dissolver, right from the get-go) They were meaty, packed with flavor and delicious. I literally felt the spices coming through my pores. Quite unexpectedly, my favorite smoked entrée was the chicken.

Brisket, Grilled Chicken and Sweet Potato... mmm, mmm!

I just loved the way the subtle smokey flavor worked its way into the soft flesh of the chicken resulting in a fabulous taste. We had no room for their burgers and chocolate mole sauce, which we heard are outstanding. We’ll have to come back and try those as well as some of their other popular dishes.

A great homey place to come with family and friends to chill an’ enjoy southern smokin’ Jewish hospitality.

SYR

Smokey Joe's on Urbanspoon

02
Jul
10

Royal Persian Grill


Efraim Azari, owner of Royal Persian Grill (192 West Englewood Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666; Telephone: 201-833-1555) has an inspiring personal story which explains his evolution into the kosher restaurant business.

Originally from Teheran, Efraim emigrated to Israel with his family, when he was just a child of 4. He grew up in a Tel Hashomer kibbutz. as left wing as it gets. Raised on  ideology which stipulates that religious people were untrustworthy,  superstitious and downright foolish, he focused his energies on an enlightened worldly consciousness, athletic healthy body, excelling in karate and other martial arts.

Thirteen years ago, Efraim emigrated to Miami, with his wife and youngest son, where he built a large successful business. One day, his son informed his parents of his decision to become a ba’al tshuvah. Efraim and his wife were devastated, wondering where they had failed their child; no amount of dissuasion sufficed, he couldn’t be talked out of this folly! Shortly thereafter, another stroke of bad luck befell the Azaris; Efraim severely injured his right shoulder blade. The tear required complicated surgery, the pain was unbearable, and the operation failed. A wounded, tired, exasperated Efraim traveled the world in search of a top surgeon that specialized in his injury… He found one, and scheduled a second  operation, with the hoped that this time it would be successful. His nights were sleepless, excruciatingly painful, filled with channel surfing, Arak and other potables to numb the unceasing pain.

A few short weeks prior to the operation, Efraim’s son – now married and an avreich in a Monsey kollel – invited his parents for a visit. Though his core beliefs and lifestyle hadn’t changed one iota, Efraim couldn’t help but be impressed by the size and scope of the bet knesset and Yeshivat Or Yisrael. Before leaving, his son told Efraim that the Rosh Kollel wanted to give him a bracha (blessing). Little did he know his life was about to change… for ever…

“I hear you tore your shoulder blade,” the Rabbi said. “Yes,” Efraim answered. “And your first operation was a disaster.” “Yes,” Efraim answered. “And you’ve already scheduled a second operation.” “Yes,” Efraim answered. “I have the perfect doctor for you!” said the Rabbi. “With all due respect to the Rabbi I already have a top doctor,” Efraim answered. “You don’t understand, I can recommend THE top doctor to you.” “Please Rabbi, I already scheduled my operation!” “You don’t understand, I can recommend the best specialist for you,” repeated the Rosh Kollel. Again, at the urging of his wife, Efraim acquiesced and let the Rabbi continue. “Give me two hours a day of deep study, learn and thoroughly follow this book – which I’ll give you – on the Laws of Shabbat. Follow it thoroughly, do not pick and choose what’s convenient, or sensible, just follow it thoroughly or don’t waste your time warming a chair here. If you follow everything, the Doctor will cure you.” Reluctantly and again at his wife’s urging, Efraim committed himself to this. That very night, for the first time in almost a year, Efraim slept right, soundly; no pain, no needles, no shocks!

Refreshed, the next morning, he showed up at the Yeshiva, fascinated with the new teachings – revealing a heretofore unknown, undreamed of, world and a new purpose in life. Again that night he slept well, the pain had inexplicably eased up. After a week of refreshing sleep and productive learning, Efraim began to achieve some mobility in his injured arm and shoulder; soon all pain disappeared, full mobility and the use of his arm and shoulder returned. All without surgery… Believe it or not! The Doctor had done his job!!! “I’m a stubborn man,” Efraim says, “I don’t like change, but who can argue with obvious miracles when I experienced the healing in my own flesh?” I truly understood the meaning of Ani Hashem rofecha! – I am the Lord, your Doctor!” And so, the enlightened athlete who stumbled upon the courtyard of the Royal Palace in Monsey, stayed and learned. Four years ago, still dedicating several hours a day to his learning, he opened the Royal Persian Grill.

Royal Persian Grill

What makes the Persian cuisine different from Middle Eastern cooking? At the Royal Persian Grill they use a twenty five herb combo mix, a lot of parsley, cilantro, mind lemon and garlic, not hot spicy like some Israeli dishes, rather more sweet and sour. Rice accompanies many of the selections and is cooked differently than the usual western way. It’s cooked half way, then it gets washed in cold water, finally, it’s steamed. Thus, the kernels stay separated and retain their shape gleam and taste. We sampled one of their very popular Persian dishes. Ghorme Sabzi- a thick beef stew- a Persian cholent – if you will – with rice, red beans and meat. It was earthy and filling. The second Persian favorite was Beef Bamya, a sweet and sour beef stew with okra. It wasn’t ready when we were there and we hope to sample it next time.

We started the meal with their Appetizer Salad Combo.

Appetizer Salad Combo with matbucha, hummus, Romanian eggplant, babaganoush and pikanti eggplant.

We enjoyed this dish with toasted pita covered with oil and zaatar (hyssop). All the salads, like the rest of the of the fare, are freshly made at the restaurant. This salad combo plate tasted very good!

Next, we ordered a very adequate Yemenite Meat Soup. We continued with a delicately seasoned Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled Chicken Breast w/fries and roasted Yukon Gold potatoes

Cooked just right, it was tender and juicy, as we sipped a refreshing iced lemon/mint tea.

We finished the meal with a superb Halva Ice Cream

Halva Ice Cream. Amaaazing!

…and an excellent Baklavah. Yehudis, our waitress, made our meal an absolute delight with her friendly solicitousness. We know we’ll be back!

CS

Royal on Urbanspoon

10
Jun
10

La Carne Grill


Enticed by the glowing review this restaurant garnered in 2007 in The Jewish Press, a 2007 mention in The New York Blueprint, a nice review and slide show in New York Magazine and quite a few others – along the same vein – we couldn’t wait to try Eddie Allaham’s eatery. Knowing Eddie was one of the original owners and the creator of Prime Grill’s concept, made our mouths water in anticipation of visiting La Carne Grill (340 Lexington Ave; New York, NY 10016; 212.490.7172). Daniel Ronay (whom readers of our blog have met before, came along this time in place of SYR who couldn’t make it).

The main dining area...

Daniel started the meal with Crispy Sweatbreads, they came with an olive tapenade and mustard aoili. He described them as nicely crispy and flavorful without being overpowering.

I opted for the Garlic Baby Artichokes, which consists of sauteed baby artichoke, drizzled with sweet garlic sauce.

Garlic Baby Artichokes

I am a potato lover and had I eaten these blindfolded, I would have thought – based merely on the taste – that I was savoring some very buttery potatoes… superbly done!

We each followed the appetizer with a sushi rolls (who would have believed, less than six month ago, that I would EVER touch fish based sushi?!?!?).

Daniel had the Red Dragon Roll, a spicy tuna roll with wonton crisps on top. He liked the nice contrast between the roll texture and the chipped wonton crisps. Though it came in a nicely sized portion, Danny said he could continue eating more and more of it.

I had the colorful Rainbow Roll, a california roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail and white fish. An artistically presented dish, did not taste fishy at all, a wonderful amalgam where each ingredient was subtle enough to allow the others to shine through to create a wonderful, perfect, combination of flavors. We each washed it down with a delightful 2007 Herzog Chardonnay.

For the main dish, he continued to a delicious Beef Wellington. It came with a grilled filet mignon with asparagus, garlic demi sauce and mushroom duxelles, wrapped in puff pastry.

Beef Wellington

While he’s not normally a fan of Beef Wellington, he felt he would order this particular version again. He found the meat tender, juicy, perfectly cooked with a nice shade of of light pink in the center. What made it so different was the delicate sauce of ground mushrooms with a touch of lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Daniel couldn’t stop raving about it!

I ordered a Filet Mignon, which came with a black trumpet (mushrooms) brandy cream sauce  (delicious!!!!) and French fries. Tender and juicy, superbly cooked to medium state. I paired it with a 2006 Benyamina The Cave. This blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot, aged in a three hundred year old cave in the heart of the Carmel mountains and the Filet… ah, a marriage made in heaven!

We finished this royal repast with an excellent pareve capuccino and a Blueberry Cheesecake

.

Delicious pareve cheesecake

It was hard to believe, there was no real cheese inside. Delicate but full of flavor, even without the blueberry it would still have been outstanding.

We were pleased to see that La Carne Grill does not rest on its past laurels, Chef Angel Ramirez and his stuff worked hard to produce their very best still. There is no question I must bring SYR soon, I know she’ll love it!

CS

La Carne Grill on Urbanspoon

09
Jun
10

Tiberias


Comfortable, relaxed, upscale, delicious… Those words barely describe this brand new eatery in Midtown Manhattan. Tiberias (45 East 34th Street; NY, NY 10016; Tel: 212.481.4222). is under OK supervision, its fare is cholov Yisroel dairy. SYR and I went there yesterday at mid afternoon, less than a week after it opened. It may be brand new but, the two Steinhart brothers have been working in and managing restaurants for the last five years, in spite of their very young ages. This is the realization of their dream, a dream of having a unique restaurant with something different than the standard offerings. If this is how they started, it will not just be a dream!

A partial view of Tiberias Restaurant

SYR started the meal with the Stuffed Mushrooms, stuffed  with fresh vegetables topped with mozzarella and doused in cream sauce.

5 button mushrooms, stuffed with vegetables, topped with mozarella, doused in cream sauce.

She found it very flavorful, each ingredient combined for a delicious, perfect, appetizer.

I had the Gravalax. Homemade smoked salmon with potato crustini and cucumber salad with dill and mustard,  subtly flavored and very good to the palate.

We then shared the Special of the Day, Pasta del Sol. It consisted of penne with cream sauce and cherry tomato culis, topped with a nicely sized grilled Atlantic salmon.

Considering it was a hot, humid day SYR accompanied the meal with a Lime & Srawberry Smoothie, made from freshly squeezed lime juice, a bit of lemon zest,  fresh strawberries and crushed ice. It looked great and tasted even better. I had the Coffee Slim Shake (it’s sugar free, but you wouldn’t believe it from that great taste!), it came with ice cream, skim milk and was topped with cocoa powder. On the table next to us, a young lady was feasting on an interesting looking Affogato de Gelato, her expression told us it must have tasted heavenly. She explained to us that she’s enjoyed it here before, it consists of a large scoop of sugar free vanilla ice cream, in a boiling shot of espresso served in a martini glass…

We ended the meal with their Jack Daniels Cheese Cake, this is a Mozart type cheese cake with 2% percent of Jack Daniels whiskey. It tasted superb  and looked great, served with three ice cream scoops, some whipped cream and fresh strawberries.

Jack Daniels Cheese Cake

SYR had a Torino Hot Chocolate, gourmet hot chocolate with a partially submerged milk chocolate bar… buonissimo, ottimo!!! I had their Cappuccino, an espresso with steamed milk topped with foam, made from Italy’s famed Danesi Gold Beans…. subtly sweet with a pinch of brown sugar, artistically presented.

Tiberias Cappuccino

A great experience in a brand new eatery with a nice ambiance; as SYR puts it, NO-GUILT DELISH! This definitely calls for an encore…

CS




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