Jewish food used to exclusively mean the bland standards of Jewish households: matzoh ball soup, brisket in gravy, kugel, and the like. But a new day has dawned for Jewish food, and it's being revived, explored, and reimagined in a number of new restaurants.
It may look like an old-time deli, but make no mistake, this restaurant is modern, thoughtful, and imaginative in its tribute to the quickly vanishing deli tradition. It's pastrami is better than most of its more celebrated rivals, and its take on classics like flanken in the pot are worth stopping by for.
Though its controversial proprietor is something of a crank, there's no doubt that this East Village eatery is an original, doing a modern take on Jewish food that keeps people coming back..
It's best known for its pastrami, but the really interesting thing for me are the original takes on Jewish food -- from a smoked chicken with rye gnocchi to a veal-laded kasha varnishkes.
Where restaurants like Mile End and Kutshers have reimagined Jewish food from the eastern European side, Balaboosta attempts to do the same thing with Israeli food, and with similar success. Don't go expecting hummus and lamb; this is real New York cooking, with its aim a lot higher than the middle-eastern grub we tend to take for granted.
Originally conceived as a high-concept take on Jewish cookery (hence the name, a nod to the Catskills resort beloved by old time Jews), this Tribeca restaurant has taken its place as a bastion of some of the city's best comfort food.
Conceived by its owners as an American restaurant "where everything just happens to be kosher," Jezebel is nonetheless unmistakably a Jewish restaurant -- just one that has broken the bonds of kreplach and kugels.