Archive for the 'kosher Sushi' Category

14
Jul
14

Butterfish – New Restaurant Opening


Over the years, Sòlo has undergone a few transformations and we’ve covered them all (here, here, here and here). Now, in its newest incarnation, it will change its name to Butterfish (550 Madison Avenue; New York, NY 10022; Telephone: 212.729.1819 –  between 55th and 56th, in the atrium of the SONY building). The new restaurant will open this coming Sunday the 20th of July.

Butterfish-2

Butterfish

…will specialize in authentic new age Japanese sushi, featuring simple ingredients of exceptional quality, with fish so fresh it literally melts in your mouth like butter.  With superior fish brought in daily from Japan and local markets, Butterfish will feature an extensive selection of fish and a full line of sushi techniques never before seen in any kosher eatery, as well as full line of Japanese beer, whiskey and sake, all under the supervision of the Orthodox Union.

Butterfish1

The new Executive Chef is…

[..]Chef Hitoshi Saito, who studied sushi preparation in Osaka. His unique technique of combining cold fish with his signature warm rice, made fresh in small batches every half hour,  yields unparalleled results, winning him accolades from food critics worldwide. Enjoy reasonably priced genuine Japanese soups, salads, sushi, sashimi and chirashi and innovative delicacies including Kobe beef sushi, beef shabu shabu and chicken tempura.

We can’t wait to taste this new authentic Japanese cuisine at its finest. I can only hope that to make this new restaurant a truly perfect experience, they will bring back waiter extraordinaire, Eka Halim. 

Frankly, if Butterfish follows the same exacting standards as the other restaurants owned by The Prime Hospitality Group you know it’s got to be good!

CS

10
Dec
13

La Brochette Steakhouse and Sushi Bar


Last evening, SYR and I attended La Brochette‘s (340 Lexington Ave; New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212.972.2200Grand Opening Event. It is located on the premises of the late La Carne GrillUnder the direction of its owners Avi and Reuven Cohen, it acquired a more sedate and contemporary look to give it the distinctive atmosphere that would do full justice to its fare.

kosher-scene-copyright-copy22

The main floor...

The main floor…

Chef Angel Rodriguez cooked up a memorable menu for the occasion. We started out with the Petit Omakase, a selection of sushi rolls…

White tuna with avocado crunch, tuna/salmon roll and more in a sweet and sour sauce...

White tuna with avocado crunch, tuna/salmon roll and more in a sweet and sour sauce…

For a meat appetizer we had the La Brochette Sampler; it soon became very obvious we were about to be treated to a virtuoso performance of food and heavenly aromas…

Spring roll, wagyu beef brochette and Peking duck

Spring roll, wagyu beef brochette and Peking duck

SYR followed with La Brochette Salad, which came with Boston lettuce, baby corn, haricot vert, Kalamata olives and Ranch-Lemon dressing and she liked it!. I, intrigued, opted for the French Onion Soup. This soup is traditionally covered with bread and melted cheese, since we were at a steakhouse, I just had to see what Chef Angel would come up with and I was pleasantly surprised at the riches, the nuances of flavors.

We both segued with the Roasted Prime Rib, which came with a side of of potatoes Lyonnaise and the house beef glaze, SYR ordered hers medium rare, while I opted for a medium well. Both were excellent choices…

....ample portions, deliciously juicy and tender. Who can ask for more?

….big portions, deliciously juicy and tender. Who can ask for more?

We washed it all down with 2 glasses each of Borgo Reale Pinot Grigio 2012, from grapes grown in the the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. It was pale straw in color, medium bodied, with a fruity aroma and a clean refreshing taste. We should have found a more adequate wine pairing for the robustly flavored roasted rib, though the wine went delightfully well with everything up to the entrée.

SYR finished her repast with a Mascarpone Tiramisu..,

it truly mimicked the dairy original!

…it truly mimicked the dairy original!

while I – an unrepentant chocoholic – opted for a Chocolate Lava with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We left the restaurant enchanted by the atmosphere, and the succulent dinner. 

...the taste of paradise!

…the taste of paradise!

We run into quite a few old friends, most notably Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Elan Kornblum from Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine, and Meyer Harroch from New York Kosher Guide, among others. The waiter, a gentleman of the old European schhol (though he was only middle aged), was very attentive and made everyone feel very special. As SYR and I discussed the evening, we both agreed that we’ll have to go back again an again.

CS

10
Mar
11

Kaizen! Perfection at Prime Ko


Have you ever had one of those microcosmic moments in time encapsulating a window onto something so much bigger in its depth and substance? Though most of mine have not been food moments, this one surely was this past week at the Japanese inspired restaurant Prime Ko (217 West 85th Street New York, NY 10024-3901 – (212) 496-1888) when I tasted Chef Makoto Kameyama’s signature sushi Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna appetizer. But more about that in a moment…

CS and I were escorted into the ground floor dining area; they’ve got a lower level with a wet bar, TV screen and more seating. Décor showed subtle Japanese influences. The waiting area had these lovely brown leather boxy ’kabuki’ shaped chairs and couch, fresh orchids on a dark rectangular table, with a wall of hand-painted coral peonies on soft aqua…

Wall dividers of slatted mahogany separated one area from another; windows were shaded with white bamboo semi-transparent treatments. Seating was brown textured suede on wood, a few striped suede backed benches, all tucked into square darkwood tables. Settings consisted of simple white geometric china, flatware laid out on deep red bamboo textured placemats, and chop-sticks resting on logo enhanced wood pieces. Lighting was recessed in one area and a framed oval shaped ruched red fabric with a back lit center aperture against the far wall, with a row of rice textured globe light fixtures in the other area.

A partial view...

Esteemed Chef Makoto Kameyama, the former prized Sushi Chef at Prime Grill for the past ten years, has served as Executive Chef at Prime Ko since it opened last year. His experience began in Tokyo where he assisted his father, a prominent Edo-sushi chef running a successful restaurant in Japan. In1981, Chef Kameyama came to the US and opened his own Japanese restaurant. Transitioning to Japanese kosher posed quite a challenge. Aside from the dietary restrictions on pork, shrimp, crustaceans, etc. sourcing fine quality kosher fish for sushi and sashimi, replacing basic Japanese cooking elements like bonita flakes and dashi (made of fish bone, until recently unavailable with a kosher certification), achieving consistent textures and creating exciting sauces were but a few of the obstacles he faced.

Chef Kameyama is very pleased with healthy low fat and low cal Japanese cuisine becoming staple of the American diet. Be it the DHA and heart healthy fresh fish, lung healthy miso, or vitamin mineral-rich seaweed, it is thanks to Japanese cuisine masters like Kameyama that this healthy streamlined fare is taking the nation by storm.

Now, back to our meal… The opening appetizer was an assortment of Rainbow Roll, yellowtail, tuna, and salmon sashimi and that fabulous Crispy Rice with Spicy Tuna I mentioned earlier. That was the defining moment of kaizen (Japanese for perfection) . The mouthful of toasted rice cake topped with spicy tuna pureed with bell pepper, topped with jalapeño and aioli sauce was a bite of pure perfection. The creative combination of textures and genius flavors conjoining to taste so remarkably well, spoke volumes about the artistry of a chef whose collective experience and expertise arrive at the table each time this signature dish is served. Bravo! Omedetou!

Sushi and Sashimi

But we were just getting warmed up… CS and I shared lovely grilled miso Chilean Sea Bass skewers in a spicy teriyake sauce served aside sautéed bok choy & veggies which couldn’t help but be outshined by an outstanding Tuna Delmonico, edged in breading served with jalapeño sauce, wasabi, beet and ginger sauce, with a side of soba noodles and pickled radish/onion/carrot garnish.

Tuna Delmonico

Our waiter, Al, our server, Lebron, treated us like royalty; they were friendly, efficient, informed. I thought we were getting the ‘special treatment’, but service to the tables nearby was just as extraordinary. Al, had the menu and wine pairings memorized down to the last nori seaweed bit & dot of sauce. Service was the epitome of high Japanese hospitality; water goblets refilled with Prime Ko’s own filtered carbonated water, napkins refolded, tables cleaned between courses, and soy sauce, dishes and silverware replaced with the arrival of each new dish.

We enjoyed a cleansing, refreshing Borgo Reale Pinot Grigio 2007 as we waited for our next course, a medley of kobe chopped beef dishes. We sampled Kobe Meatballs with ground ginger and garlic in miso sesame sauce, spicy Kobe Pizza - crispy dough, house made marinara topped with chopped salad & chopped wagyu. Wagyu Beef Sliders – a mini kobe hamburger with spicy aioli and teriyake sauce – completed this tasty Americanized trio.

Cutlery was replaced again with a fresh set including steak knives. I starved myself till dinner in anticipation, but this was turning out to be a most extravagant meal… The best was next! Three ounces of the most amazing Kobe/Wagyu steak resting on a slab of Himalayan salt rock witha side of white mushroom cooked at our table with a spritz of fresh lime. When quality is this good, extra spicing could only detract from it natural flavors – it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Taken before being cooked at table-side. 3 ozs of marbled beauty!

The second steak dish was a 6 oz. Grain Fed Chateau-Briand with vegetable rice served with a jalapeño/uzu/teriyake sauce, with salad and rice. The steak was so good, I would have preferred the sauce on the side.

Steak Chateau-Briand

Chef then surprised us with Eggplant Dengaku. Baked eggplant topped with miso and sesame sauce. Unusual, and superbly tasty. The evening’s crown,  came with the creative and most beautiful desert dish pictured below.

Beautiful presentation, superlative tasting

Two crepes laid out like a Japanese fan, topped with blueberries and strawberries with hot chocolate sauce, sprinkled with green tea powder and confectioner’s sugar that looked like fairy dust. Need I say more?

A brilliant meal overall. Our thanks to Chef Kameyama and the staff of Prime Ko for a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

SYR

Prime Ko on Urbanspoon

04
Feb
11

More Superbowl Specials…


SYR and I spent such a wonderful evening last night with Sidney and Tammy Cohen at 18 Restaurant (240 E 81st St, New York NY10065; Tel: 212.517.2400). It was worth braving the cold and ice to have the opportunity to shmooze with them.  The restaurant was hopping with the evening crowd, who also ignored the weather to get a consistently great meal at 18. Tammi and her husband are so friendly and have such good business and food sense, it was great to see their restaurant thriving.

I had to have the Yemenite Meat Soup again, aside from the perfect weather conditions it’s just too good to pass up (this is winter comfort food at its best!). I’ve tasted this soup at a few well known establishments and I can assure you none came even close.

18‘s got a new sushi chef from NOBO.  I dont know what magic this guy puts int0 his sushi and sauces, but they were extraordinary. We  had his sushi roll and a  shredded fish salad, they tasted sensational. Considering that until 14 months ago I did not even touch anything remotely resembling a fish, you can believe this is very high praise!

If, unlike me, you are not into Indian food, 18 Restaurant is having their own Superbowl Special:

Colorful and delicious

  • 10 ASSORTED OVERSTUFFED DELI SANDWICHES
  • 10 ASSORTED SUSHI ROLLS
  • COLESLAW, PICKLES, POTATO SALAD
  • 30 ASSORTED MINI POTATO KNISHES, HOT DOGS IN BLANKET, MUSHROOMS IN PUFF DOUGH

$199

Now that they have their Liquor License,  18 Restaurant will – every motzey Shabbat (open from 8:00 pm to midnight) – give you a free glass of wine with dinner.

Warm and friendly

We raved about 18 Restaurant‘s food before, having revisited this eatery, we still rave about it. The sushi is superb, the soup is delicious and will warm your bones on any cold winter day, their hamburgers are in a class of their own. Why not give them a try? If this isn’t one of your favorite kosher restaurants already, it soon will be!

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

29
Jan
10

China Glatt


We all know of that strange cultural phenomenon, the Jewish American fascination with Chinese food. Wanting to understand it, seeking some clues, I decided to try Boro Park’s venerable China Glatt (4413 13th Avenue; Brooklyn, NY 11219-2017; Telephone: 718.438.2576) where I found moderately priced, good wholesome Chinese fare.

I started the evening with Sushi, the choices were raw or cooked fish. I opted for cooked, and I ordered the Garden Dragon and the New Thirteen.

Garden Dragon and New Thiteen Sushi

One comes with mango on the outside with apple and imitation crab, the other is made with a spicy, pan seared salmon with cucumbers and avocado. Both dishes were appealing to the eye, delicious to the taste.

I then had Shmulk’s Pan Fried Wontons, named for one of the restaurant’s frequent customer’s  whose original recipe this was.  The wontons were filled with sweet and spicy chicken. I liked these wontons!!!

I followed with Empress Chicken, a less spicy version of General Tso’s Chicken.

Empress Chicken

Then I segued with the Singapore Chicken. This very good dish consists of grilled chicken sauteed with vegetables, bamboo shoots, mushroom, onion and pepper.

Afterwards I had the Beijing Beef with onion carrots and snow pea pods.

Beijing Beef

like everything else I’d eaten here, it was delectable! I finished the meal with a pareve cheese cake that tasted surprisingly good.

China Glatt has been at this same location – in the heart of Boro Park – for 15 years, considering the quality of the food I’m not at all surprised. As for my original motivation to try Chinese food, my search for clues as to the Jewish longing for it, I can only surmise that it must be the similarity between kreplach and wontons, lokshen and lo-mein.

I once heard a joke that perfectly encapsulates the Jewish love affair with Chinese food, considering the current Jewish year is 5770 and the Chinese just started their 5730th year, what did the Jews eat for 40 years?

CS




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