Kosher New York City in 50 Hours or Less
When I arrived in a snow-dusted New York City for the Kosher Food and Wine Experience I had a game plan. Lots of people to see, lots of places to eat, and lots of things to write when I return. I had just fifty hours in Kosher New York City and it had been a decade since I last spent any time in the Big Apple. In this post, I’ll summarize my visit and next week I’ll write about the Kosher Food and Wine Experience.
For someone that has never lived in, and rarely visits, New York City, Sacred Chow offers the quintessential NY vibe that I hoped I would find. The kosher-vegan restaurant is nestled between a shoe repair store and a hookah store at 227 Sullivan St. After walking past the store a couple of times, I walked in and instantly felt welcome – not from a rehearsed, slowly spoken “welcome” chorus you often receive at a vegan restaurant. I really felt like I had been invited in to hang out with some buddies and the aromas wafting from the kitchen embraced me as I stepped in from the cold. Simply put, Sacred Chow is a must for vegans and carnivores alike.
Had it not been for a recent Living Social deal I may have not discovered this eatery, and although it was disappointing that my deal wasn’t eligible until after I returned to Kansas, I had made my way to SoHo exclusively to eat here, and was determined to do so. Everything on the menu appealed to me, there’s a wide selection of raw, cooked, wholesome, or faux-meat dishes to choose from and their tapas special (three dishes for $18) was not only recommended to be by the waitress, but looking around the restaurant, I could see that most diners had chosen this route.
I chose my three. Orange Blackstap BBQ Seitan, Dijon Marinated Raw Kale and their special, Millet with Black Olives and Sun Dried Tomatoes these dishes complimented each other perfectly. Read my full review at Yeah That’s Kosher.
Appalled by the way were spoken to by staff at Connolly’s on 47th, my buddies and I skipped the half time Super Bowl show to find a friendly environment to watch the rest of the game. Hungry, we decided to find a kosher place so we could eat and drink during the rest of the game, we headed over to Mr. Broadway.
There’s an awesome name recognition thing going on here. The name really speaks to me and the recently renovated Mr. Broadway is welcoming. The venue is bright and clean, the service was impeccable, and their menu certainly caters to a diverse crowd. Mr. Broadway have a wonderful selection of bar food, American Cuisine and Israeli classics with an impressive display of wines, mounted on the wall.
My parting thought, although overall pleased with my experience, is that Mr. Broadway is straddles the line between sport-bar and date-night and might find itself in the midst of an identity crisis. My feeling is that less is more. Find your niche and be the best at it because if you try and do it all, you risk not doing any of it at all. I can’t say a bad word about the service and would certainly visit again.
1372 Broadway New York, NY 10018. (212) 921-2152. MrBroadwayKosher.com
My Most Favorite Food
I met Liz Reuven of Kosher Liker Me for breakfast at My Most Favorite Food on New York’s Upper West Side (UWS). Liz is an inspiring food writer who reviews not only the kosher scene, but vegetarian and vegan eateries for people that are “Kosher Like Her” and honor the traditions of a kosher diet in their home and eat as vegetarians when out and about. This review of My Favorite Food was kindly sent to me by Liz. I encourage you to check out her writing for an inspired approach to organic, vegan and kosher living.
We started the morning off right at My Most Favorite Food on the Upper West Side, a fine spot for some classic New York eats. This dairy kosher restaurant, bakery and cafe is ample sized, with plenty of breathing room (a big plus in NYC) including a sunny area up front that places you in prime people watching position along busy 72St. A sparkling bakery case, extending half the length of the entry, tempts with house made breads and pastries and salads that may be packed away for later in your day.
We opted for power breakfasts of the Mediterranean egg white omelet overstuffed with crumbled feta, roasted tomatoes and wilted spinach. Yosef chose a Bolillo, a mini baguette (all breads and pastries are house made and it shows) loaded with mozzarella and plum tomatoes. All dishes come with a side (thimble sized) of fresh fruit and chopped tomatoes.
My Most Favorite Food serves lunch and dinner, too and with it’s location being so close to Lincoln Center, the Museum of Natural History, the Children’s Museum and Central Park, it’s central location on the UWS may call you back for more than breakfast. Lunching adults may chose Wild Salmon Caesar or any of the more interesting “burgers” including veggie, chickpea or portobello varieties. The dinner menu offers some interesting choices too, with Shitake Mushroom Skewer being my bet for a starter and gluten free, lower cal Spaghetti Squash Primavera providing an welcome option. Pan roasted wild salmon, a choice of seven pastas including kid friendly Penne Pomodoro or Mac and Cheese are all in the mix. An ample selection of kosher wines is available, too.
Breakfast is late here, beginning at 8:30 AM but hours extend deep into the eve for late dinners. Shomer Shabbat.
Kosher Food and Wine Experience 2013
Now I understand why the E in KFWE stands for experience and not expo or event. Whether you are there for the food or the wine, I am pretty sure you can not taste it all . Even with the four hour head-start offered to members of the kosher food industry, I know I missed out on some of the tastes the show has to offer.
The highlights of this event include meeting with winemaker, owner and founder of the Flam Winery, Golan Flam and discussing the ever-evolving landscape of Israeli wines. The reserve unfiltered Cab is breathtaking and I would not hesitate to consider Flam a new personal favorite alongside Castel and Hagafen.
My favorite flavors of the night include Glatt a la carte’s Tropical Chicken and the Hanger Steak from Le Marais . In my humble opinion, deep fried Oreo cookies had no place at an event of this caliber, but they sure were a crowd-pleaser.
Food and wine aside it was a pleasure to spend the day with Kitchen Tested, Jamie Geller and Tamar Genger, Food, Words & Photos and Dinner in Venice and meet the faces behind KOL Foods and JWines and The Aussie Gourmet. All of these friendships began online and it was great to finally meet everyone in person. More on KFWE next week to make sure you’re signed up for my email updates so you know when it goes live.
Milk N’ Honey
Perhaps the most told story of my short visit is how we ended up in Kansas City. To cut a long story short, my wife and I were directors of a summer program here in 2009 and fell in love with the Jewish community, cost of living and way of life. A few years later, we made Overland Park, KS our home and many of the 20-strong group of teens that participated in our summer of service are now young Jewish leaders living in New York. We chose Milk N’ Honey for our breakfast reunion.
Located on 45th between 5th and 6th is, Milk N’ Honey is an excellent casual breakfast or take out spot to fit any budget. I ordered a French Panini which was neither French, nor a panini, but it was a delicious over-sized and over-stuffed grilled pita sandwich filled to the brim with grilled zucchini, onions, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. If you’re ordering this dish ask to add lox to the sandwich, it’s the perfect finishing touch.
Milk N’ Honey offer a full array of breakfast and lunch times from bagels and baked goods to soups, salads, pizza and even sushi. Despite the steady flow of breakfast customers, we were able to enjoy breakfast and didn’t feel like we needed to rush out when we had finished dining. Milk N’ Honey gives locals a quick start to their day and offers visitors an insight into the life of a busy New Yorker. I am pleased to have started my day here.
22 W 45th St New York, NY 10036. (212) 764-4400. MilkNHoneyKosher.com
Mendy’s Kosher Delicatessen
My vegan readers might want to skip this part my write up – I mean no offense!
New York Deli sandwiches have a reputation. The overstuffed rye gently painted with a touch of mustard houses a selection of freshly cut meats. It’s a dietary nightmare but a culinary delight. Really… no one needs that much meat in one sandwich, but served with a pickle and a side of slaw, I saw this as a one time opportunity to bring take-out home for dinner. That’s right, two of these tongue, brisket and pastrami triple stuffed sandwiches were wrapped and made their way in my carry on luggage for dinner with my wife in Kansas.
Mendy’s location is small but serves it’s purpose perfectly. Talk about finding your niche and being the best. I didn’t even need to look at the menu to know what I was going to order. With six locations, I recommend a vist.
37 W 48th St, New York, NY. (212) 262-9600. MendysDeli.com
Wolf and Lamb
There is no shortage of high end kosher eateries and choosing a lunch location was no easy task and after whittling the choice down to Le Marais, Prime Grill or Wolf and Lamb, I am positive that I we made the right choice. There’s an art and elegance I associate with dining and Wolf and Lamb understand how to present themselves both online and in their restaurant. Thought has clearly been given to image as well as the food.
We were greeted with kindness and seated right before the lunch time rush began and even though it was busy, I never felt that I was struggling to get the attention of our waiter. The lunch service felt alive and vibrant as opposed to rushed and busy.
Deciding to go “family style” with the appetizers, we order Sesame Rumaki, Short Rib Sliders and Meat Empanadas. Each of these dishes deserve a spotlight. The sesame rumaki, chicken tenders wrapped in pastrami, have a wonderful crunch as you bite through the fried pastrami to find a flavorful bite of chicken, and unlike any empanda I have ever eaten, the meat was the star of the show and not an afterthought. As for the rib slider special – the meat was tender, sweet and has a slight smokey BBQ flavor. I ate my slider open faced so not to detract from the flavor of the ribs.
Information! The rumaki were too good to be left in New York so I re-created the dish myself. Here’s my kosher chicken rumaki recipe.
For main, I ordered a Pepper Crusted Filet Mignon with a side of dirty fries. The meat and the flavor was delightful, just as you would expect from filet mignon. I ordered rare and was served a medium-rare, my buddy’s medium-rare was medium, but I am forgiving when the service is deserving! Ignoring the from the fact that real filet mignon comes from a cut of beef that is not sold to the kosher market in the US and this was likely a cut from the center of the rib eye, this was an excellent steak with the perfect balance of flavor from the pepper crust and the sauce.
It’s rare that I order dessert, but it’s rare that I am dining in New York. The day’s special was a bread pudding with a white chocolate creme anglaise. The pudding itself was light and creamy, complimented but not overpowered by the milky flavor of the creme anglaise. Without a doubt, the best bread pudding I have ever eaten.
Service was efficient and the waiter was more than happy to make recommendations. He took the time to ask about our preferences, treating us as individuals rather than telling us his favorite dish.
As I flagged a cab to take me to the airport, I was full, satisfied and very pleased to have ended my visit to NY at Wolf and Lamb.
10 E 48th St New York, NY 10017. (212) 317-1950. WolfandLambSteakhouse.com/manhattan
Mapping It Out
NY is a big city and although the subway is efficient, you can avoid criss-crossing your way through the city by staying in one locale. There’s plenty to do and plenty of places to eat, so I promise, you won’t go hungry. NY cabs take cash and credit card but often things are closer than they seem. Walking through the city is also a great way to get around so try and work some time into your visit to walk through Central Park or wonder through Time
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