It’s been a busy few months for the team at Prime Grill Hospitality. In addition to revamping meat restaurant Solo into Solo Dairy Italian Kitchen and moving the flagship Prime Grill from East 49th Street to new digs on West 56th Street, the group has also been putting the finishing touches on “The Prime Grill Cookbook,” due out in mid-September.
The timing seemed just right for a book, said David Kolotkin, the restaurant’s executive chef. “People have been asking us to do it for about five or six years, and with all the new changes it seemed like as good a time as any.”
The book is penned by Kolotkin and Prime Hospitality owner Joey Allaham. It includes behind-the-scenes photos from the restaurant as well as a history of Prime Grill, which has been around for over a decade. In addition to descriptions of how the kitchen works, the book shares recipes for some of the restaurant’s most popular dishes including over a dozen meat entrees like the Delmonico steak with peppercorn sauce (available only on Tuesdays at Prime Grill), barbecued braised short ribs, marinated steak for two with fennel puree and Helene’s Holiday Brisket with Carrot and Onion Gravy (which comes from Kolotkin’s mother) and seems perfect for the high holidays. There are also over 10 recipes for side dishes, such as rosemary potato chips and dairy-free creamed spinach. (While the spinach’s secret ingredient is a bit of parve cream cheese, Kolotkin says the trick is using fresh spinach, saving some of the blanching liquid and mixing it in later.)
Heading north to Montreal this summer? If you’re not, you should be.
Aside from being the three months out of the year when the city doesn’t look like a snow globe, summertime is festival time in Montreal. From June until mid-September, the newly laid-out Place des Festivals is aglow with lights, sounds, crowds, music and film.
The more well-known events, like Francofolies, a two-week tribute to French culture in Canada and abroad, and the Montreal Jazz Festival, which celebrates its 34th anniversary this year and has hosted the likes of Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald, B.B. King and Aretha Franklin, have just ended, but that’s no reason to cancel.
All that partying tends to give one hunger pangs, and Montreal is happy to help relieve them. You’ve probably heard of poutine, the heart-attack inducing combination of fries, gravy and cheese curds, but what of Montreal’s Jewish food scene? Like the city itself, its Jewish fare is defined by the blend of English-speaking Ashkenazi heritage complete with a French-speaking Sephardic twist.
From juicy smoked meat to melt-in-your-mouth North African sweets, there’s something for everyone. If you’re new to the city, check out the map below to plan your post-festival food crawl.
Late Night Smoked Meat: Schwartz’s Deli
No Montreal night out is complete without a trip to Schwartz’s. Even at 3 a.m. (closing time for bars in the city), you will find a line snaking out the front door and onto the street, while tourists and locals alike wait to fill their bellies with smoked meat (the Canadian answer to pastrami).
Founded in 1928 by Reuben Schwartz, a Jewish immigrant from Romania, the “charcuterie hebraique” (Hebrew Delicatessen) is the oldest deli in the city, and has occupied a prime spot on Boulevard Saint-Laurent, a.k.a. “The Main,” for more than 80 years.
Each smoked meat establishment jealously guards its recipe, complete with a secret blend of herbs and spices. The good news? If you can’t get enough of the juicy blend, it’s now available in travel-friendly packaging in certain supermarkets around Canada.
Disclosure: Though the white-tiled interior and narrow tables stay true to the deli’s origins, the business is no longer under Jewish ownership. In 2012, Rene Angélil, Celine Dion’s husband and a lifelong smoked meat fan, bought the deli from businessman Hy Diamond.
Must Try: Smoked meat sandwich (when asked if you want it lean, the answer is most decidedly no).
3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal, Quebec, H2W 1X9.
It’s a kosher carnivore’s delight lately in Manhattan. Hot on the heals of news that The Prime Grill is moving to a larger location in order to accommodate more diners, we learn that La Brochette is coming to 340 Lexington Avenue in Murray Hill. The new kosher steakhouse, is replacing La Carne Grill, whose name leaves no doubt that it served a similar cuisine.
The owners of La Brochette plan on renovating the two-story property, which they are renting for a cool $25,000 (give or take) per month, to create a higher-end kosher eatery (possibly with a roof deck). According to the Commerical Observer, La Carne Grill was appreciated by the kosher-eating community and served as a neighborhood hangout for many years. However, some patrons had been recently noting that the restaurant was in need of upgrading and redecorating.