Archive for the 'Kosher Scene' Category



25
Feb
10

Purim Recipes


Although today is a Ta’anit Esther – The Fast of Esther and observant Jews around the world are fasting, we also prepare for Sunday’s Purim feast. While looking for inspiration around the web, I came across the following (superb!) holy day recipes on famed Chef Laura Frankel‘s  blog:

I like hamantashen and certainly have eaten my fill of the tender cakey treats. Don’t get me wrong. They are delicious and fun to make. But, they are safe and not at all sexy. So, this year-I want some excitement on Purim. I think I am just tired of winter, the economy and bad news. Time for FUN! Get out your martini shakers, groggers and whatever else you need to put on a splashy and delicious Purim Feast. For dessert-I recommend you pull out those nice hamantashen or do like the Persians and serve dried fruit, nuts and fresh citrus.

All of the recipes can be prepped ahead of time, leaving you lots of time to get your Esther or Mordechai on. Have a Freylich Purim!

Blood Orange Martini

It is scary how tasty these martinis are-like you could easily get into trouble with a pitcher of these scary! Oh well, Haman-Mordechai…whatever! just have fun

1 ½ ounces vodka
2 ounces blood orange juice
½ ounce simple syrup
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
1. Shake together and serve. Garnish with blood oranges slices and pomegranate seeds

Persian Meatballs (Kufteh)

This is a great dish for the end of winter. Serve this for Purim as a first course or as part of a Purim feast! Traditionally, the meatballs would not be browned before being poached. As a chef, I think the caramelized crust on the meatballs is essential and gives a great texture and more pronounced flavor. You can opt to do it either way.

2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 cup cooked yellow split peas
1 pound ground chicken, turkey or beef
½ cup finely chopped fresh dill
½ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 cup chopped scallions
2 cloves garlic-chopped
2 large red onions-peeled and chopped
2 eggs-lightly beaten
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin seed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom

1. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix as the mixture will be too tight and tough. Salt and pepper the mixture (I like to take a small amount and fry it to taste if the seasoning is correct).
2. Lightly, shape the meat balls with your hands.(I find that wetting my hands with cold water and using a rolling motion keeps them from getting too packed and tight.) You can store the meatballs at this point covered in the refrigerator for 2 days or freeze them for 1 month.
3. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Lightly coat the pan with olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches. Remove form the pan and drain on paper towels.

For the poaching liquid

1 16-oz can of canned tomatoes with their juices
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon saffron threads
Juice and zest of 1 orange
Juice and zest 1 lemon
Salt and pepper

Bring the poaching liquid ingredients to simmer in a large saucepan. Place the meatballs in the pan. Gently poach them until cooked through. Do not stir the pan as the meatballs will break apart.

Basmati Rice
This is a show stopper for any buffet or dinner. The crispy crust on the rice tastes a little bit like popcorn. It is easy to make ahead and can be reheated in the pan in a low oven.

2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
3 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large saucepan bring water with salt to a boil. Add rice and boil 10 minutes. In a colander drain rice and rinse under warm water.
2. Place a 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Coat the bottom with olive oil. Spoon rice into the pan, cover pan with a kitchen towel and a heavy lid. Fold edges of towel up over lid and cook rice over moderately low heat until a golden brown crust forms, about 30 to 35 minutes. Invert the pan onto a serving platter. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and blood orange sections.

According to The Jew And The Carrot website, Chef Laura is currently Executive Chef and head of food services at the Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering and café at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the former chef and founder of the Shallots restaurants. Mrs. Frankel has training and extensive experience in both savory and pastry kitchens. Before committing herself to her culinary passion, she played both alto and baritone saxophones. She taught and played professionally. She is the author of Jewish Cooking For All Seasons and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes.

Chef Laura will be giving a Kosher Food Demo at De Gustibus (on the 8th floor of Macy’s) on the upcoming 16th of March.

I’ve eaten many times at Shallots when it used to be located in Manhattan at the atrium of the SONY building’s where Solo is now situated. I definitely can vouch for her succulent creations!!!

CS

23
Feb
10

Abigael’s on Broadway


Abigael’s (1407 Broadway – at 39th Street, New York, NY; Tel: 212.575.1407) calls to mind the posh elegance of the bygone era where films like My Man Godfrey, with William Powell and Carole Lombard, were set. It is a classy, sedate and uniquely appointed restaurant. Yet… the simple but rich atmosphere and decor, are not all that attract the eye and whet the palate at Abigael’s… The dishes are inspired and delicious!

Partial view of Abigael's main dining room

I met Chef Jeff Nathan in the small private library (one of various party rooms at Abigael’s). There, amidst the Soncino Talmud and the Encyclopedia Britannica we discussed what precipitated his becoming a Chef. As a member of a generation where every Jewish parent dreamed of “my son the doctor” or “my son the lawyer,” Jeff Nathan journeyed against the grain and, after a stint in the US Navy, attended the Culinary Institute of America. Driven to transcend and surpass, as in all else he ever attempted, chef Nathan dominated the competition and graduated at the top of his class in 1980.

Since 1998 he has been the chef/host of PBS’ “New Jewish Cuisine, the only international gourmet Kosher cooking series, which is seen in four countries and translated into three languages.” He is also a kosher and restaurant consultant to various food and wine producers.

I started the meal with with Abigael’s Ultimate Sushi Platter which consisted of three sushi rolls.

Ultimate Sushi Platter presented with a soothing, drip fountain

The three rolls are: Tempura Trio (salmon, tuna, and fluke, tempura fried, with avocado, masago and scallions), Broadway (seaweed roll with tuna, yellow-tail and salmon, cucumber, avocado, Japanese dressing and masago), and Green Tea (yellowtail and avocado, topped with salmon, spicy tuna tartar and sweet wasabi soy sauce). Though fish and sushi are but a recently acquired tastes of mine, I did find the platter beautifully presented and deliciously toothsome to eat.

I then tried their Smoked Brisket Eggroll (Texas style, with barbecue vinaigrette and a chipotle potato salad). This dish fully demonstrates the creativity of Jeff Nathan as he metamorphoses the quintessentially traditional Brisket with a saucy bold new flavor and crispy exterior. Flavorful, as my mother used to say, ta’am fun ganeiden!

I followed that full flavored brisket with the Crispy Asian Chicken (crisp fried and tossed with spicy chile sauce, served with sweet and sour sesame-cucumber slaw).

Crispy Asian Chicken

Presentation was again an eyeful and the taste was quite savory.

A Latin American bred carnivore to the core, I loved the Argentine Smoked Short Ribs (house smoked rib tossed tossed with BBQ vinaigrette and chimi churri with scallion whipped potatoes).

Argentine Smoked Short Ribs

The ribs were succulent, heavenly smoked and spiced, cooked to tender perfection. The scallion whipped potatoes… just right!

Great dinner, in a great atmosphere, though missing Carole Lombard or Myrna Loy by my side, but life… isn’t perfect, could I really ask for more?

CS

Abigael's on Broadway on Urbanspoon

22
Jan
10

Noi Due


Noi Due – Us Two (143 W 69th St New York; NY 10023; Telephone: 212. 712.2222)… aah, the memories it brought back! Having traveled extensively through Italy, having taken in the aromas, this restaurant made me feel I had somehow magically returned to il bel paese. With its authentic decor, softly played romantic Italian songs… SYR and I knew almost from the moment we stepped in that the food would also have that authentic, simple, fresh taste. We were not disappointed!

As soon as we sat down they brought us a basket of home made foccaccia bread, with an oil dip. The bread had that fresh delicate scent that easily succeeded in whetting our appetite for what would come.

SYR stated her meal with a Minestrone, while I had a Zuppa di Pomodoro con Ricotta (Cream of Tomato Soup with a Ball of Ricotta).

Minestrone

The aroma of both soups, the simple country look, the freshness… mmmmMMMmm mmmMMmm! My tomato soup was a slight bit more orangeish than I had expected and that made it a greater feast for the eye. The combination of hot soup and the cold ricotta, brought two different flavors to perfectly complement each other. Somehow the contrast brought out both the soup’s and the cheese’s flavors in full force. The aroma of the fresh basil only enhanced the culinary experience.

SYR‘s Minestrone cooked to perfection, allowed her to taste each individual piece of vegetable. She loved it!

She followed it with a grilled Salmone which sat on a bed of potatoes and asparagus, it was topped with onion rings. Between the presentation and the aromas emanating from it it looked very enticing. She described the potatoes as very buttery, the salmon as delicate and not “fishy” tasting in the least, and the onion rings as just perfect.

Salmon with potatoes and onion rings

I had the Carcioffi Ripieni – Stuffed Artichokes. They came with artichoke bottom stuffed with fresh vegetables served in a lemon caper sauce. The flavor was just tart enough to enhance the vegetables without overpowering them.

We then shared a dish of Cheese Ravioli.

Cheese Ravioli with Gorgonzola and Parmigiano

The ricotta filled ravioli came with Gorgonzola, cream, walnuts, sprinkled parmigiano and spices. Being a cheese lover (wifey used to joke that I must have been an Italian mouse in another gilgul) the combination of the three cheeses was – as my mother used to say in yiddish – ta’am fun ganeiden, the taste of paradise!

The dishes went well with a delightful 2008 Goose Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

No meal at an Italian restaurant could be complete without a good cappuccino for me, and an espresso for SYR. Again, the aromas seduced us, and at least in my case this was one the best cappuccinos I ever enjoyed!

By six o’clock, this 40 seat eatery was filled to the gills. Service was prompt, the staff was friendly and enthusiastic, the portions were fair, the prices surprising low. Noi Due‘s motto is “poco ma buono – little but good.” They more than lived to it! We both enjoyed our experience there. We know we’ll be back, we have to!

CS

17
Jan
10

Cutting to the Chase


Chef Chase Sanders, in a snapshot taken by one of his coworkers at The Pasta Factory

Chef Chase Sanders just wowed me! That’s all I can say. The new chef of The Pasta Factory is no stranger to the art of fine cooking, or to The Pasta Factory‘s owner Sol Kirshenbaum.

Both worked together at Levana’s where Chase got a chance to hone his skills as a kosher chef. Chase is incredibly personable, warm, generous and totally without airs. He began his career as a lowly dishwasher eight years ago and worked his way up earning each bench mark by the sweat of his brow, a passion for food that flowed through his handiwork and an uncanny positive attitude that propelled him forward. The man has vision, depth, a contagious enthusiasm, superb creativity, and a great love for his chosen profession.

Totally non-pretentious in his approach to food, Chef Chase explained: “Simple clean flavors- that’s how I like to execute my food.” He was so willing to share the specifics of what went into the dishes that tasted so extraordinary. As though talking about most favored children, he described particular fresh herbs, the cooking by taste and touch, the experimenting that goes into perfecting sauces like his béarnaise without the use of butter, creating modifications in his reduction sauces without sacrificing taste, and about adapting authentic Italian or American flavors to dishes for the kosher kitchen.

Chef Chase, in hands on style, does his own daily shopping for the latest catch in fish, “ I want to know the fish I’m serving.” And so it goes with the other fresh ingredients Chef serves at the restaurant. “I have to feel, smell and taste. I have to use my own senses to get the right mix of textures and tastes for what I prepare.” The Chef summed up his philosophy of good food when he said “Anyone can put three ingredients together, but if you put your whole heart and soul into the preparation, it comes out amazing!” “All my love comes through the knife into the sweet potato!” Well, those sweet potato fries did have that something indescribably delicious about them. That signature “love ingredient” also transmits itself to his staff, as Chef Chase makes a point of keeping everyone tight and close together – working as one to create great service each and every day. We wish him the best of luck as top chef at the Pasta Factory and look forward to see all his culinary visions comes to fruition.

SYR

06
Jan
10

Young and Classy


Humbly cloistered in the heart of Boro Park, is a secret exclusive grotto of fine dining.

Bistro 1310, (1310 – 40th Street; Brooklyn, NY 11218; Telephone: 718.483.8792), right off 13th Avenue, has the look and feel of a higher end city eatery.  Its glazed brick walls, warm chestnut and russet colored interior along with the glass waterfall wall and soft music melts the tension of the surrounding outer world, giving one the feeling of sanctuary.

Bistro 1310's ground floor

Bistro 1310’s menu is evolving, a work in progress; as they engage in exacting their culinary coordinates for this new venue. This young eatery presently offers an amalgam of flavors from around the world, offering specially aged grilled meats as well as chicken and fish dishes spiced with Indian and Asian influences.

We sampled two appetizers Tandoori Chicken – thin bread crumb crusted chicken breast pieces with a blend of Indian spices and mayo based curry dipping sauce; tasty! Our second appetizer was a Tuscan Steak Salad served with field greens, red onion, roasted pepper in a lemon vinaigrette; the thinly sliced aged meat was delicious and well appointed.

Tuscan Steak Salad

For our main we ordered two of Bistro 1310 early favorites. Teriyaki Chicken with sautéed vegetables and white rice, and Skirt Steak with mashed potatoes. The chicken was flavorful, the teriyaki sauce a tad sweet for my taste; the white rice was cooked just right, with light lovely seasoning that was delicious. CS by nature is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so he loved the Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and the very tender Skirt Steak. I sampled a piece, and found it slightly salty.

Skirt Steak

We ended our meal with a Tiramisu boxed in chocolate. The quality of the chocolate was superb and the Tiramisu was very respectable.

Tiramisu

This young chic bistro is a hidden treasure of Boro Park and has a promising future. We will revisit it again as it hones in on its niche in the beau monde of Kosher fine dining.

SYR

Bistro 1310 on Urbanspoon

05
Jan
10

The Pasta Factory


One of the greatest joys of preparing entries for The Kosher Scene blog has been meeting the talented seasoned restaurateurs and chefs along the way.  Sol Kirschenbaum, owner of The Pasta Factory (1400 Palisade Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666, Telephone: 201.837.1000) and former partner of Levana’s has just an amazingly vast knowledge of the kosher restaurant business. Sol’s also an incredible wine connoisseur; he loves his reds especially those from the lesser known Israeli wineries; his many years in the fine kosher dining business and vast experience with what makes for fine food, were just the recipe for a great evening of food talk and tasting.

It was one of those freezing, weather is frightful, 20°, teeth chattering, winter nights. Chef Chase Sanders prepared a lovely Roasted Truffle Butternut Squash with Basil soup. This creamy soup had just the right blend of sweetness and the basil overtones were delicious; and it was hot.

Appetizers followed. We split the Grilled Chicken Quesadilla, tender bites of grilled breast with tricolor salad and balsamic dressing. The combined flavors and crispness of the quesadilla were flavorful and authentic. The second appetizer was a Lamb Merguez Pizza with arugula, olives, capers and shallots drizzled with Tahina.  This dish demonstrates Chef Sanders adaptive and creative talents in executing an authentic Mediterranean dish modified to meet the strict standards of the kosher cuisine. It looked great, the tahina resembled drizzled cheese, and the combination of flavors really worked!

Grilled Chicken Quesadilla

Lamb Merguez Pizza

At some point, someone brought us two great glasses of wine. I had a Dalton Safsufa Cabernet Sauvignon, very solid and flavorful, while CS had a Herzog Selection Merlot, also quite good. At this point my feet were thawed and I was ready for the main course.

The waiter brought out a Crispy Breast of Chicken with asparagus risotto, seasoned with preserved lemon. I’m still a little floored as to how he made simple chicken taste so good, (must be that special ingredient he adds to his dishes; (see our little piece on Chef Sanders that will follow next week, if you want to find out), but it was simple and savory. The risotto was cooked to perfection and I loved the asparagus accent; gave it great flavor. CS had a fabulous Skirt Steak marinated in molasses and shallots. He reluctantly gave me piece to taste, (South Americans are so possessive with their beef), and the blend of flavors was terrific. Presentation on all our dishes was simple and elegant

Skirt Steak

I’m really dating myself here, but does anyone out there remember “Felix the cat, the wonderful, wonderful cat. Whenever he gets in a fix he reaches into his bag of tricks.”  Well… let me tell you about Pasta Factory’s dessert chef, Felix. Forget tricks, this man is a magician. His desserts taste sinfully milchigdairy…oh…the creams….the chocolate…. the mousse…the taste….oh my! We were served a flourless Triple Chocolate Cake and a dish of Butterscotch Cream. I was gonna have to pay for this with an additional forty laps in the pool next day, but it was all well worth the calories. Pastry Chef Felix’ 14 years of experience at the 4 Seasons really showed in his presentation and mouth-watering desserts.

Tricolor Chocolate Cake

The Pasta Factory has a warm brick interior, a lovely quiet ambiance suitable for family and one on one dining. They are also the only kosher restaurant in Bergen County with a liquor license. They boast a diverse, exciting menu of delicious food, and beautifully served ample portions. Enjoy. We certainly did.

SYR

Pasta Factory on Urbanspoon

30
Dec
09

Colorful, Tasteful!


Having heard quite a bit, from some friends, about this six months old eatery I felt I had to try it out and taste their fares myself. Earlier this week, SYR and I made our way to Tuscany (547 Kings Highway, corner of 4th Street; Brooklyn, New York 11223; Telephone: 718.339.5200), the ambiance is casual and friendly.

We decided to go for their $44.99 special which consists of one salad, one appetizer, 2 mains and 1 dessert. We started with their Ceasar Salad, fresh, delicious and nicely presented! We followed it with Melanzane Di Rolentini…

Melanzane Di Rolentini

This is a delectable combination of Grilled Eggplant with Ricotta, Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese with mushrooms all rolled and baked in Marinara sauce. It looked great and tasted even better, both SYR and I loved it.

For the main dishes, SYR ordered Atlantic Salmon

Atlantic Salmon

The grilled salmon came with a teryaki sauce and some vegetables. There was nothing “fishy” about the taste, a masterpiece!

I ordered the Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

This is a spaghetti pasta with carrots, zucchini, broccoli and mushrooms in a delicate homemade pink sauce, colorful and delicious.

The portions were generous and we certainly felt satisfied, we almost had no room for the desert, except… when we saw it… there was no question we’d have to have it! We got a  Homemade Tiramisu… while every dish, up to now, had been a veritable feast for both eye and palate the dessert was in a class by itself…

Tiramisu


It was a nice, filling, dinner for two with friendly, prompt service; all very reasonably priced. But, there is more! Enticed by the exclamations of delight at the table next to ours, we ordered – in addition – Tuscany‘s signature dish, the sushi Spider Roll. This was outside of the special, but worth it. We  had the rolls right before the Melanzane Di Rolentini, again the taste was superb and quite different from what either of us expected.

Sushi Chef Joe, takes special delight in coming  up with unusual flavor combinations and pleasing presentations. Those who recommended Tuscany to me said the sushi is unequaled. Having tasted the Spider Roll, I wholeheartedly agree. We’ll just have to work our way through the rest of Suchi Chef Joe’s creations. We can’t wait for an encore. Bravo, bravissimo!

CS
[In our upcoming website we'll have more about this delightful kosher restaurant specializing on fish and dairy, including their menu and MORE!]

29
Dec
09

Unusually Creative and Delicious


Seth Warshaw, is the owner and executive chef of etc steakhouse (1409 Palisade Avenue; Teaneck, NJ 07666; Telephone: 201.357.5677). The De Gustibus School at Macy’s featured him as one of the top chefs in their The Fine Art of Kosher Cooking series.

Last week, Wednesday, I found my way to his establishment. It was a very pleasant, delicious experience and more than amply confirmed Salvatore Rizzo‘s (De Gustibus owner) high assessment of Chef Seth.

The walls are painted red, otherwise the decor is rather spartan. The dishes I tasted showed tremendous creativity, a rare understanding of the riches of flavor and very nice presentation.

I started with their Pomegranate Rolled Rib Eye..

Pomegranate Rolled Rib Eye

It came accompanied with a pomegranate and Satsuma clementine salad in a grapefruit reduction. The aged rib eye was very tender and juicy. The flavors were a superb blend of meat and subtle fruit juices. Succulent!

I followed with Sweetbreads with Glazed Rutabaga.

Sweetbreads with Glazed Rutabaga

It consisted of superbly prepared sweetbreads with a delicate lima bean puree and glazed rutabaga with a balsamic reduction. I then moved on to the Pomegranate Hangar Steak.

Pomegranate Hangar Steak

Because of the rules of kashrus (where meats must be salted for an hour – to extract the blood – after soaking in water for 30 minutes), in spite of all the rinsing, the meat ultimately absorbs some salt. As a result hangar steaks are very salty. Chef Seth, however, has found a unique way of enhancing the steak’s flavor without one noticing the salt. The result is a very juicy, tender, steak; yet another tribute to the Chef’s creativity and knowledge of the blending of flavors. The steak came with a sweet potato mash, haricot verts, caramelized onion rings in a pomegranate reduction.

I topped off the meal with a House Made Zeppole Trio with vanilla ice cream. Each zeppole was covered with a different sprinkling. One had a combination of fine cinnamon and confectioner’s sugar, another a sprinkling of coconut and the third had cocoa powder. Fried Italian pastries, they were sweet and indescribably delicious. What a great way to crown a superb meal!

CS

Etc Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

28
Dec
09

I Ate… Fish


Whoever knows me in person, whoever has been reading this blog, knows I used to intensely dislike fish. In spite of my Mother’s best efforts, it wasn’t until I got to mesivta that I learned to tolerate gefilte fish on Shabbos eve. But, it never went beyond that! And yet in spite of that dislike, I’ve described – on these very pages – instances where I’ve eaten fish and… like them! One specific restaurant taught me to enjoy what I previously disliked…

Towards the end of May past, SYR and I found our way to Borough Park’s Avenue Plaza Dining (4626 13th Ave; Brooklyn, NY 1121; Telephone: 718.552.3222). The restaurant is located one floor below the Avenue Plaza Hotel‘s main lounge

One of the frescoes in the dining room of Avenue Plaza Dining

It’s a cozy, comfortable place; the dishes are unusual and delicious. Knowing full well that fish are not something everybody likes, Chezky Klein and his staff strive to have their creations look and taste very different from what one would expect. They are known throughout for what they do with fish, for what they do with pasta.

We started the meal with their most popular dish, “Buffalo Wings” Style Tilapia. Soft and tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, then smothered with lightly spicy sauce. Delectable!

SYR followed it with a Tilapia in Plum Sauce

Tilapia in Plum Sauce

The grilled Tilapia was glazed with plum sauce. The plum got rid of any “fishy” taste! The result was a tender, fruity, but meat like taste.

I had their “Spare Rib” Style Fillet of Salmon

"Spare Rib" Style Fillet of Salmon

It came grilled to perfection and had been basted in a delicious sauce that indeed made it taste like a very delicious “spare rib.” SYR and I, then split their Orange Scented Tilapia

Orange Scented Tilapia

Tender strips of tilapia, slightly coated with a subtle, fragrant, orange sauce.

Yes mommy, I know you won’t believe this, but I finally ate fish and… loved it! As Chezky Klein puts it, “This is not your grandma’s gefilte” and he’s absolutely right.

CS

18
Dec
09

Somewhere in Marrakech


Just missing the story tellers, local souk and snake charmers, I walked into mystical Morocco when I entered Darna (600 Columbus Ave – North East corner of 89th; New York 10024; Telephone: 212.721.9193), right here in New York City, in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Magically transported to the heart of Fez, Rabat, Marrakech or perhaps Casablanca and Rick’s Café Américain… I expected to hear the echo of Ilsa’s voice asking Sam: “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.'”

I arrived at Darna as they began dinner service. Carlos tastefully arranged a corner table for me while Katja navigated me through the extensive menu of surprisingly well priced fare.

I started with a Humus plate, which came with a zaatar (hyssop) pita and mixed greens.

Deliciously flavorful, it was followed by Moroccan Cigars with accompanying greens and tomato flower garnish atop a Tehina Sauce.

The meat filled cigars were crispy on the outside, tender and savory on the inside; a perfect blend of flavors.

Darna’s Stuffed Chicken was the main course, a whole roasted Cornish hen stuffed with prunes, apricots, raisins, mushrooms and almonds with a side of  Couscous (their signature dish!) topped with string beans and carrots.

The stuffed hen was tender and superb in taste; the side dish delicious! The meal was accompanied by a delightful 2007 Barkan Pinot Noir.

Darna means “our home” in Moroccan Arabic. The time went by too quickly; the homey food, the polite and friendly staff, the cozy beautifully appointed authentic Moroccan décor, the soft Moroccan music certainly made me feel like a valued guest at the home of some trusted old friends…truly a hidden precious jewel in Manhattan!

To borrow a line from the movie Casablanca, “Luis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” I’ll be back!

CS




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