The Wall Street Journal has a piece today about newer high-end restaurants in NYC that are high-end first, kosher second.
It focuses on Jezebel, soon to open in SoHo:
A gold-plated shofar will serve as the door handle. Art work will include familiar pieces but with different faces (Woody Allen in a commissioned re-creation of "The Last Supper"). And an Orthodox Jewish overseer will keep a close eye on the kitchen at all times to make sure all's kosher. Literally.
"We're looking to change the norm of where the bar for kosher is," said Menachem Senderowicz, 34 years old, one of Jezebel's two owners. "We think we can take it up more than two notches and bring it to a whole new level."
"We want to become the kings of kosher," interjected co-owner Henry Stimler, 32.
Messrs. Stimler and Senderowicz are stylish, fast-talking former finance types who plan to open Jezebel in June. It is the first restaurant for their group B&Y Hospitality (British and Yiddish, since Mr. Stimler is British and they both speak Yiddish), and they've hired James Beard Award-winning chef Bradford Thompson in the kitchen and Nick Mautone, formerly of Gramercy Tavern, to design the drink program.
The duo, who grew up Orthodox but now classify themselves as "modern Jews," say the kosher aspect of the restaurant is almost an afterthought, albeit a carefully planned one that will include prepaid Shabbat dinners (and special ovens to keep the food hot) and unpasteurized kosher wine, which can only be handled by observant Jews.
The owners say there is an unmet need for a cutting-edge restaurant for the Jewish demographic that is populating the likes of the nearby SoHo synagogue, where Torah cocktail parties and a Hamptons services are among the offerings, according to the website.
But they insist they are not aiming for a predominately kosher or even Jewish clientele.
"It's just a wonderful coincidence that everything that comes out of the kitchen is kosher," said Mr. Stimler.
The piece goes on to mention existing high-end kosher restaurants in NYC, including Ladino Tapas Bar and Grill, Pardes and Prime KO, and has the obligatory quote from the haredi kosher food industry flack Menachem Lubinsky, who discusses Jezebel’s kosher supervision, provided by Rabbi Aaron Mehlman’s National Kosher.
Like Prime KO, Jezebel will be open Friday night for (pre-priced, pre-paid) Shabbat dinner.
According to the WSJ, Jezebel will serve dishes like roasted bone marrow, lamb bacon and chef-made chicken sausage.