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Kosher in East Village and Gourmet in NYC

I'll be visiting NYC (from Chicago) with my sister next week, and I've never really been on my own there as far as food- I've always gone with family, and ended up eating at places outside Manhattan. I'm looking for close and *good* kosher options in the East Village (we're staying on 13th Street between 1st and 2nd Ave). Any first-hand recommendations are much appreciated!

I also want to have a NICE dinner out with her, no holds barred. So, what're the fancy-shmancy places- y'know, the "tablecloth restaurants", the proposing-to-my-b'sheret places, the I'm-on-vacation-and-left-my-diet-and-budget-at-home places... Location is less important here, 'cause we'll make our plans that night around dinner.

Thanks in advance!! Go Bears!

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  1. For the fancy gourmet I would suggest Solo - high end and very good - owned by the same people who own The Prime Grill also an excellent steak house style restaurant


    1. Chickpea--which is open on Shabbos--is on 8th and 3rd and is great shawarma. Unfortunately, the other major kosher options in that hood--Triangles, 2nd Ave and Village Crown have all closed.

      1. When I went to school in the neighborhood in the mid 90s there were two places on First Avenue near 14th street a pizza joint and a shwarma place. There was also a fancy restauraunt called the Kosher Tea Room (I think it was on Third & 12th). Did all of these places go under (yes I know about Village Crown).

          1. re: tomby

            Just took a look at the shamash site. It appears that the pizza place (La Bagel) and Shwarma (Murray's Falafel & Grill) both on 1st Ave btwn 15th and 16th are still open. There are other places in the area which I am unfamiliar with. Visit the shamash website (below) and enter New york for the city.


          2. For a formal dinner, try La Carne Grill. The food is very good and - very unusual for a kosher restaurant - the service was very good too.

            1. We found the service at La Carne to be average at best. It was slow and inattentive. I also thought the food did not compare to Prime Grill or Solo.

              1 Reply
              1. re: DeisCane

                I've had so many bad experiences at Prime Grill, mostly bad service, I will not go back

              2. But there is still Moishe's genuine heimishe Hungarian bakery on 2nd Avenue and 7th... once you have had your fill of danishes, cheese strudel, apple strudel, real rugalech in 4 flavors you will be so full you will have to jog all day to eat that fancy shmancy dinner!

                1. Just landed back from NY this AM. Here's my 2-cent review:

                  Moishe's is very heimishe, and I'm very sorry to say we didn't actually get to EAT anything from there. It was 8am, and we were in search of eggs, and had planned to return for some authentic black & whites but didn't make it before they closed. Something to look forward to next time.

                  La Bagel is still open, as is Murray's.

                  La Bagel: Food/Prices-excellent; service/smarts-nearly nonexistent. Their low fat tuna sandwich on bagel is EXCELLENT, and they were open this AM at 6, which was a lifesaver!

                  Murray's: didn't get to eat there, but we stopped in to ask their hours. While there, we asked about kosher places in the Canal Street area, and they offered to us (to keep) their copy of last year's Jewish establishment guide... VERY helpful!!

                  eee's Cafe, 34th b/t Lexington & 2nd: Excellent service, they even sold me a cup of milk which they normally only use for coffee. Lox & Bagel, reasonably priced, big enough for two of me!

                  Eden Wok, 34th & Madison: decent food, great prices, would have been perfect for take-out/delivery/lunch. We were there for dinner, and expected waitress service. The counter service wasn't even that good, but the food was hot, quick, and accurate.

                  My Most Fav. Dessert Company, 45th b/t 6th & Broadway: we stopped in just for desserts, got cheesecake and which choc. mousse cake... Sis and I agreed- best cheesecake either of us had EVER tasted (and we haven't always kept kosher, so that's REALLY saying something ;). The slices were so big, we couldn't finish them- and that's also saying something for a couple of dessert-lovers, one of whom is 6 mo pregnant! the 2 desserts and 1 glass of wine ran $30 after tip, but you can't beat their cheesecake. Very nice intimate atmosphere, also- this could have been a great contender for the gourmet meal out (dairy) if we hadn't had hearts set on fleish...

                  Prime Grill, 34th b/t Park & Madison: Best meal I have EVER eaten, hands down. My sis, who is a treif-filet afficionado and a waitress at a gourmet restaurant herself, said that the kosher "filet" she ordered rivaled authentic filet she's had at treif upscale places. My first bite of the Ladies' Cut (which, btw, was still over a pound of meat) was so flavorful, I apparently made a face worth photographing. Service could have been better- they missed my sis's side dish order entirely and while they didn't put it on the check, they also didn't comp our tonic/lime or tea for dessert (which would have been a nice gesture). The table next to us had faster, more attentive service, but we both had to ask for water refills, which in my opinion should never happen at a place you're about to drop $60/head minimum. Overall, we shared an appetizer (asian-marinated short ribs), each got one of the lower-priced steak dinners (by menu choice, not price choice), shared a potato side dish, and shared a very excellent triple chocolate fudge cake for dessert (yu-um!), for less than $150 after tip. Giggled all the way home.

                  That's my brief, layman's review of 2 days o'kosher in NYC... Thanks for everyone's help!!