Even many gentile restaurants in town offer up Kosher-friendly items. But if you seek something certified and supervised, consider these rabbi-approved (plus one non-certified) options. Double-check when placing reservations, and call ahead to ensure a spot at one of these New York gems.
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You’ll find no shortage of Kosher dining on the Upper West Side, but for old-school steak and salmon, non-dairy desserts and classic NYC attitude, you could do worse. What you’ll find is an attractive, white tablecloth setting, live music and what may be the city’s first Kosher cheeseburger, incorporating tofu “cheese.” Dine privately or at a communal table (outside dining available weather permitting).
New York’s / Long Island’s Jewish Persian community is small (compared with L.A.) but active, and is reflected in the city’s dining scene. Colbeh’s Manhattan location offers up a perhaps over-reaching combination of Glatt Kosher steaks, sushi and Mediterranean dishes, but you won’t go wrong with the wide variety of kebabs, Mediterranean salads, and Gheimeh (beef and lentil stew). This spot makes for a satisfying lunch or dinner experience, or for a quick after-work cocktail at the serenely back-lit full bar.
The newest location for this venerable restaurant and bakery comes to the rescue for your next dinner meal. Grab some great, already-prepared kosher items to bring home to the family. You can also dine in at this casually charming spot (call ahead for reservations), enjoying innovative, contemporary dishes like spaghetti squash “pasta” with fresh veggies, vegetable kebobs and Chilean sea bass. Or get them to craft your at-home dinner with orange-glazed wild salmon to macarons, tarts and non-gebract (liquid), wheat-free cupcakes.
If Kosher style works for you, then Chef/Owner Julian Medina’s creative list of Mexican-themed specials ought to do the trick. Mexico City-born Medina converted to Judaism after meeting his wife and soon added his Mexican kosher menu, which is updated each year. Last year’s unique menu included margaritas made with Agave 99 Kosher tequila, a jalapeño and carrot mazto ball soup, and chipotle braised brisket tacos, among other tasty dishes.
The stylishly modern (and recently renovated) home to author and TV personality Chef Jeff Nathan draws hungry locals and visitors for its fresh, contemporary kosher dishes. From dairy-free chili and wild mushroom polenta to chateau d’ bouef and chicken rouladen with cornbread stuffing, everything is beautifully presented and full of flavor. Along with the classics like chicken and motzo ball soup and gefilte fish, Abigael’s also serves herb crusted salmon and triple strawberry shortcake. Vegetarian and children’s menus are also available.
Robert Haynes-Peterson is an editor and freelance writer living in New York. He is certified by the American Sommelier Association through its 24-week Vinification and Viticulture program, and the government of Mexico through its Master Mezcalier program (continuing). His work can be found at Examiner.com.