Jewish classics

Shelsky's of Brooklyn: Appetizing & Delicatessen

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Overview:

Old-fashioned Jewish deli in the heart of Cobble Hill. They offer a wide variety of  deli staples including smoked & cured lox salmon, whitefish, sable and herring. You can get this piled high on bagels or a bialy.  There is a huge range of creative sandwich options that also extend into salads, spreads and deli meats. Check out the Spicy White with smoked whitefish salad, roasted hazelnuts, fennel, oranges, cucumber salad and sriracha chili sauce on rye. 

Information:

Address:  141 Court St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: (718) 855-8817

Neighborhood: Cobble Hill

http://www.shelskys.com/

Price: $$


 

2nd Floor at 2nd Ave Deli

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Overview:

I have always wondered why no one has bothered to do something modern and fun with traditional Jewish food. The team at their new space above 2nd Ave Deli has given me that gift. The multi-room venue has a speakeasy vibe with a pressed tin tile ceiling, reclaimed wood, and vintage theater posters. For the menu, chef David Teyf has taken ingredients that are ingrained in Jewish culture and spun them into modern dishes. There are duck confit blintzes, pastrami deviled eggs, tongue sliders and everything seed pigs-in-a-blanket. They put together quite possibly the most beautiful meat board you'll ever lay eyes on complete with beef jerky, pickled tongue, hard salami, chopped liver and smoked pastrami. In addition to the food being exciting and innovative, you can round out your experience with a huge craft cocktail menu. 

Information:

Address1442 1st Avenue, New York, NY 10021

Phone: (212) 737-1700

Neighborhood: Upper East Side   

Price: $$-$$$


 

Sarge's Delicatessen & Diner

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Overview:

Pastrami, matzo ball soup & other Jewish deli fare are found at this updated diner that's open 24/7

Information:

Address: 548 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016

Phone: (212) 679-0442

Neighborhood: Midtown East

Website: http://www.sargesdeli.com/

Price: $$

 


 

LOX

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I have always felt that Jewish food is underrepresented in the high end culinary scene. Just because something is typically seen as a comfort food doesn’t mean that it can’t be elevated and plated beautifully. Chef David Teyf is changing that at the newly opened LOX Café at the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

You can find the museum on the water in Battery Park City, overlooking the Statue of Liberty.  The café has been open 7 weeks and offers elevated museum dining. The menu features updated versions of old world classics. You can dive into sprawling platters of borscht, blintz, and babka (oh my). The sandwiches are piled high and arrive on freshly baked bread. Try the Lower East Side made with pastrami lox, Russian dressing, slaw & mustard for an excellent take on the reuben.

As the name indicates, they have a plethora of lox. More specifically you may find hand sliced versions of lox done 5 ways: pastrami, double smoked, sake-ginger, dill & vodka, or grapefruit & gin. Each variety possesses a different texture in addition to their wildly different flavor. The presentation of the platter, as with many of their dishes, is as much of a piece of artwork as anything hanging on the walls around you. Chef Teyf plans to add more variations as the seasons change. The man really knows how to make my little Jew heart sing. It was a pleasure to listen to him speak with such experience and excitement for his craft. I have no doubt he will continue to amaze. Here’s what we had: 

LOX FIVE WAYS -A TASTING OF OUR DISTINCTIVE LOX SELECTIONS SERVED WITH WHIPPED CREAM CHEESE, SCALLION CREAM CHEESE, CUCUMBER, TOMATO, ONION & TOASTED BREADS

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HERRING (SILOTKA) IN A FUR COAT WITH BEETS, POTATOES, ONIONS & A DILL AIOLI

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CHALLAH & CAVIAR SANDWICH - SALMON ROE WITH BUTTER AND CUCUMBER ON CHALLAH, SERVED OPEN FACED

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GIDEON’S LOWER EAST SIDE SANDWICH - PASTRAMI LOX, RUSSIAN DRESSING, COLE SLAW, DELI MUSTARD & ONIONS ON SEEDED RYE BREAD

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WHITE FISH SALAD SANDWICH - ON AN ONION POCKET WITH TOMATOES & CUCUMBERS

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JEWISH BENTO - SCHMALTZ, MATJES & PICKELED HERRING IN CREAM SAUCE SERVED WITH GARLIC DILL POTATOES, COUNTRY SALAD, SHOT OF BORSCHT, A MATZO BABKA BITE, FRUIT COMPOTE & BORODINSKY BLACK BREAD, SERVED WITH 3 VODKA SHOTS

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CHOCOLATE OR PRUNE BABKA

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SIGNATURE RUSSIAN COFFEE CAKE

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Address: 36 Battery Pl, New York, NY 10280

Phone(646) 437-4202

www.mjhnyc.org/

Kossars

Few NYC foods are as steeped in tradition as the ones found at Jewish appetizing stores. They were opened by the hordes of immigrants that poured into the Lower East Side in the late 1800's from Eastern Europe. Sadly these are a dying breed. Once you could find 100's of these stores and today there are only a handful in the city. The phrase “they don’t make ‘em like the used to” applies directly to Kossars. They are keeping the tradition alive. 

The store was opened in 1936 by Morris Kossar. Today it is the oldest remaining Bialy bakery in the United States. The establishment was taken over by new ownership in recent years but remains committed to upholding the traditions of this Jewish great cuisine. I spent some time with owner David Zablocki and he had a story behind every ingredient and a passion that is unparalleled. There is a reason for every vendor he works with from the whitefish he gets, to the bakery that makes his babka recipe, to the facility he uses to cure his salmon with his own recipe. You want to know the secret to staying open for 80 years in the greatest food city on earth? You need to give a shit. A big shit. About every product and ingredient that walks in and out of your establishment. Zablocki is a man who gives a big shit.

Kossars offers a huge range of items to go or for dining in. In their cases you’ll find stacks on cream cheese, cured fish, loaves of babka, and fresh challah. You can choose from fresh bins of brick oven baked bialys and kettle boiled bagels. They will stack your bagel high with any combo of salmon, sable, white fish, or egg salad. For something a little modern, they have gooey chocolate babka French toast that tastes like heaven. They even have my childhood favorite, pizza bagels. I look forward to many years of their success. Here’s what we had:

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THE CLASSIC - Sliced Nova, Everything Cream Cheese, Tomato, Red Onion, Capers, Dill

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THE YENTA - Whitefish Salad, Pastrami Salmon, Lettuce, Shaved Celery, Tomato, Red Onion

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Babka French Toast - 2 slices of our delicious chocolate or cinnamon babka. Served with butter and syrup

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Address: 367 Grand St, New York, NY 10002

Phone :(212) 473-4810

 

kossars.com