2nd Ave Deli. Katz’s. Ben’s Deli. Hush puppies. Cole slaw. Hot pastrami sandwiches. Seedless rye. Corn beef hash. Kasha varnishkes.
The above list brings back memories of growing up in a Jewish family on Long Island; the Jewish Holidays or even lunch at Camp Ramah (if we were lucky). Not exactly what I was expecting for my Saturday night.
A long, dimly lit, fully-stocked bar at the front of a Manhattan restaurant is no novelty. When the restaurant in question is a “modern Jewish American bistro” that leads their menu with Matzoh Ball Soup, served properly with egg noodles, carrots, celery and dill, you’ve got yourself into new territory. Now I love this kind of food, so I was really looking forward to the meal and especially, to writing this review. Our partners in crime were as excited as we were to see if Kutshers the restaurant was going to be able to live up to the rich history of Kutshers the resort. I’m pretty sure SheView just wanted mini hot dogs. To start with, we decided to share a few plates and figured that said Mini Hot Dogs, along with Wild Halibut Gefilte Fish (that’s right), Milton’s Short Rib and Brisket Meatballs and Stuffed Potato and Leek Knishes, with house-cured pastrami, braised fennel, spinach, mushroom and fontina, would be a great way to begin. Disappointingly, the Mini Hot Dogs were not mini hot dogs at all, but really just one wiener covered in its crust and sliced into little pieces. I’m pretty confident that any mini hot dog lovers out there will agree with me that it’s just not the same thing. The Meatballs were on the bland side and the Gefilte Fish was too highbrow (I really like this dish dirty and with extra, extra horseradish), so I’d rather just speak highly of the Knishes. The pastrami was tender and juicy and the Knishes underneath were pretty soft with the rightly-baked crust. If I had to reorder the appetizers, this dish would definitely stay. I was really torn for my main, and strongly considered the Grilled Romanian Steak, but left that for my tablemate and I just couldn’t resist…… the Wild Mushroom and Fresh Ricotta Kreplach. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would order this for dinner in a hip Manhattan restaurant! Maybe I oversold it to myself in my head, but I guess I realized that all I did was order a plate of semi-tasty dumplings. The Steak looked good and was enjoyed and in retrospect is what I should have ordered. The bottom line is we had a great time, but when I’m in a restaurant on a Saturday night, I usually don’t like to be sitting yards from 8 guys named Morty and a dude I could have sworn was Barry Manilow. Kutshers… I enjoy that you exist but you did not light up my life. 186 Franklin Street | between Greenwich Street and Hudson Street (212) 431-0606