Chef Alex Resnik is heading home to Queens to open a kosher restaurant. Photograph: Facebook.
Here’s everything you need to know about restaurant openings and closings, chefs on the move and tasty events happening in the world of Jewish food.
Los Angeles-based kosher-cuisine wizard and Top Chef survivor Alex Reznik is returning to his hometown with a new Glatt kosher restaurant, Eater reports. Reznik, who runs the well-reviewed Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktail in L.A.’s Jewishy Pico-Robertson area, will launch Bedford Kitchen & Wine Bar in Queens, New York, “in a few weeks.” Eater’s Los Angeles blog reports the chef will come out as bicoastal, juggling kitchen duties at both spots. And keeping with Reznik’s theme of “restaurants with Brooklyn-y names that aren’t actually in Brooklyn, Bedford Kitchen will open in a Jewish pocket of Flushing near Queen’s College,” Eater says…
…Brooklyn-based chef Ilan Hall, on the other hand, can save on airfare back to L.A. — for now. The Knife Fight star told the Forward he’s actively seeking a new home for The Gorbals, the recently shuttered downtown Los Angeles hotspot where he pioneered bacon-wrapped matzo balls, among other treyf treats. “We decided to move The Gorbals in L.A. and closed the original location this past December to look for new a space,” Hall said. “The new location will also be downtown, but it’s going to have a pretty different menu. We’re in the process of testing recipes, and we’re hopeful that the new space will open later this year.” Hall continues to wow diners at his Brooklyn branch of The Gorbals, which opened last year…
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Alex Reznik never thought he’d be a kosher chef. But when he was asked to lead the kitchen at La Seine Bar and Grill, in Beverly Hills he jumped at the opportunity to get back in touch with his roots, and modernize kosher cuisine. “I thought, ‘Why can’t kosher food just be great food?”’ he said.
The Kiev-born, Brooklyn-raised Reznik, was working at Cafe Was, a (non-kosher) celebrity hangout in L.A., when La Seine’s owner, Laurent Maslieh, approached him about his soon-to-open kosher restaurant. Reznik, a “Top Chef DC” alum was up for the challenge.
He and the owners of La Seine hoped the appeal of La Seine would reach beyond the kosher clientele, and they’ve been able to attract both Jewish and non-Jewish customers. Reznik likes to think he achieves this by cooking great food that “just happens to be kosher.”