The Jewish Week reports that the hip, super-stylish Soho restaurant is being made to undergo a rebranding as a result of its seeking kosher certification from the OU. Paying homage to a 9th century B.C.E. queen of ancient Israel who built temples to pagan gods and negatively influenced her husband King Ahab, may have worked until now. After all, the restaurant touted its “decadent” atmosphere on its website.
But now that it has decided to try to attract more traditional kosher diners, Jezebel is being thrown out (though perhaps not as violently as the actual biblical queen was).
The sun was shining over the Union Square farmers market on a recent chilly morning as Chris Mitchell, a 34-year-old chef at the fashionable kosher eatery Jezebel, loomed over a table of Jerusalem artichokes. The six-foot-something Georgia native carefully inspected the exterior of the root vegetable before buying a handful to serve as dried chips.
Mitchell comes to the Manhattan market every morning to buy Jezebel’s produce as part of the restaurant’s commitment to purchase locally produced food.
“If you care about what you’re eating, and who you are feeding your food to, you’ll want to know where it comes from,” said Mitchell. “That’s the beauty of buying locally.”
The locavore movement has become one of the hottest food trends in recent years, propelled by advocates who see it as a conscientous and environmentally friendly alternative to industrial food trucked in over long distances. Produce from local sources often keeps longer and helps keep dollars in the local economy.
Restaurants with views of New York’s skyline are rare, and in the kosher world, non-existent. Well, that was true until this Sunday, when Prime at the Bentley opened atop the Bentley Hotel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
The Mediterranean restaurant is a three to four month pop-up project from Joey Allaham, the owner of The Prime Grill, Solo, and Prime KO, who wanted to give the kosher community a taste of one of the year’s biggest dining trends.
With its 21st floor penthouse view and a second-story rooftop to boot, diners can start their meals with tuna sliders or fried artichokes before enjoying delicacies like veal scallopini ($42), chicken “parmesan” ($28), or the Bentley burger ($12), a 12-ounce black angus patty with crisp “bacon”, sun dried tomato, mayonnaise and Arugula on a brioche bun.
After hearing (and reading) all the hype about how new, hip Soho restaurant Jezebel would rejuvenate, modernize, and make kosher dining “cool,” I had to check it out.
So on Tuesday night, my husband, two friends and I headed to the painfully trendy downtown New York neighborhood to check out what all the fuss is about.
There’s no sign outside the glatt kosher restaurant, and the only way to know you’re in the right place is to look down at the doormat.
Inside the two-story carriage house, the decor is a mix of vintage and shabby chic, with a little bit of humor thrown in — adorning the walls are paintings of Jewish pop culture icons like Woody Allen (who stands in for Jesus in a depiction of the last supper) and Barbra Streisand (as the Girl with the Pearl Earring).
Take a tour of Uri Buri’s ice cream shop in Acco, where he makes locally sourced seasonal ice cream flavors like yogurt with lime and poppy seeds. [Serious Eats]
A kosher food truck rolled up to Wimbledon last week, giving kosher tennis fans some options other than a tuna fish sandwich. [Chabad.org]
Paris-based food writer, David Lebovitz, continues to blog from his trip to the Holy Land. This week he shares his recipe for tahini and almond cookies. [David Lebovitz]
A first look at New York’s newest hip kosher restaurant, Jezebel. [Grub Street]
The fantastic Paris-based food writer David Lebovitz is in Israel and has taken us along for the ride on his blog. [David Lebovitz]
An introduction and an ode to the Israeli snack food Bamba. [Serious Eats]
New York’s newest hip kosher restaurant Jezebel is finally set to open. [Women’s Wear Daily]
One mother schlepps kosher meat to a Reform summer camp. Should the Reform movement’s camps offer kosher meat? [Huffington Post]