I don’t remember the last time I was so excited about a restaurant, and then was equally excited by the meal consumed. Last night my husband and I headed to Kutschers Tribeca, which opened three weeks ago and I am describing as “haute Jewish cuisine.”
One look at the menu, and if you don’t want to make a reservation immediately, then, there might be something wrong with you. My first piece of advice: make a reservation, and expect to wait. And maybe try to go during the week, instead of on the weekend. While the kitchen clearly has their act together, the front of the house does not. We waited more than 45 minutes for our table.
At least the wait allowed us to sample some of the bar’s talents, which included a fantastic version of a Manhattan, using maple infused habanero syrup that added just enough sweetness and spice - loved it! While my husband enjoyed his Miltons Mark, I enjoyed a house made ginger ale. They also make egg creams - a childhood favorite of mine. We also got to witness some fantastic “mistletoe ice cubes,” using cranberries, basil and cranberry juice to liven up one of their signature cocktails. I will definitely be recreating these at our upcoming holiday party.
Another highlight at the bar? We spotted Harold Dieterle, the Top Chef contestant and chef at Perilla (another great NYC spot)! I had to intervene when my husband wanted to take a pic and tweet it.
Our waitress shared that there had been lots of celebrities who had dined there already including actress Sandra Bernhard, jewelry king David Yurman and quirky cake designer Sylvia Weinstock. There’s even a rumor that Beyonce and Jay-Z might be coming by this week, which just proves, everyone loves some good comfort Jewish food.
Onto the main event: the food.
Hands down my favorite part of this meal was the BUTTER. They call it “sweet onion butter,” and in fact our (fantastic) waitress shared that they had originally called it “schmaltz butter,” but that it scared off too many people. Um, what could possibly be bad about butter + fat?! But anyways, this butter is made with caramelized onions that are pureed so smooth that the taste is almost unidentifiable - you just know there is something supremely special about this butter. Obviously, it is served with sliced challah, which is indeed, a true slice of buttery heaven. The waitress and I agreed that if we could bathe in that butter, we would.
For starters: our table sampled a number of things, but honestly, it was hard to choose from the menu. The trio of salmon was perfection, served with pumpernickel toasts and a wasabi spread. The fried artichokes were excellent, though my husband said the meatballs were only average. A woman next to me had the “charoset chopped salad” which looked excellent.
I had the falafel crusted salmon, and not only was the salmon cooked perfectly and was a real quality piece of fish, the dill cucumber salad (another childhood favorite) was delicately marinated and the accompanying harissa and yogurt mint sauce was PERFECT.
By the time the choice of dessert was before us, a number of the dessert items had run out, and my pregnant belly had just about consumed its limit. Nevertheless, we shared the rainbow cookie ice cream sundae, which was amazing. OF COURSE you should pair rainbow cookies with ice cream, fudge and marshmallow fluff. Chef = genius!
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the meal? The trendy decor, and Jappiness level code red. I definitely regretted not wearing my highest heels, and ironing my hair. But, oh well.
I can’t wait to go back, though I do hope I will have to wait less than 45 minutes next time.