will be in NY later this month, looking for the best Israeli restaurant. Any recommendations? Appreciate any help.
Actually, this gives me an opportunity to post about a new, odd, but definitely chow-worthy Israeli restaurant that just opened up in Park Slope - Delicious on the Slope, on President Street, just below 5th Ave.
I have been there several times, not allowing the absence of decor (looks like the space is in a converted garage, with an industrial ceiling, harsh florescent lighting, tables for two that don't fit together making it hard to get a four-top, etc.) or odd menu (combination of traditional Israeli dishes and Jewish deli favorites like pastrami and chopped liver) deter me. Also, the prices are a bit high, but more on that in a minute.
The food is really, really, really good. I mean really. I consider myself to be very knowledgeable about Israeli and Jewish cuisine, and I was very excited to see things like Malawach and Jachnoun (Yemenite breakfast specialties that are hard to find in New York, outside of Israeli neighborhoods in Queens and the like) on the weekend brunch menu. Haven't gotten there for brunch, yet, so I can't comment on the quality.
I can, however, say that the schnitzel is absolutely the best I have ever had. It is thin, crispy and greaseless, served with a wedge of lemon and a side of cumin-scented buttery rice. (The place has a mezuzah on the door but is not kosher - go figure.) You can ask for schug, the spicy yemenite condiment, on the side. It is homemade and excellent. The schnitzel seems pricey - $16 or so - but the serving consists of four large pieces, which easily fed my hungry family of four on several occasions. My kids are now addicted.
We have also had the hummous with foul - served warm, with a pool of olive oil and sliced hard boiled egg, very yummy, and the Greek and Israeli (chopped) salads. The salads are pricey again, but huge. If you go there alone, you will need a doggy bag. My only quibble about the Israeli salad is that they use iceberg lettuce instead of romaine, which is more typical in Israel. The owner told me he found it hard to get good quality romaine lettuce. Maybe someone can hook him up. Also, I bet the salad will improve over the summer, when tomatoes are in season.
I've sort of gotten to know the owner a bit, and he recently gave me a taste of their pastrami.... it was warm and juicy, with just the right amount of spice on the outside. Not a dish that I would expect to find on a menu with Israeli yemenite specialties, but this place is really idiosyncratic. They also make a mean matzah ball soup.
They were closed for the week of Passover, and I sort of started to panic that they would not reopen. The place is usually empty. Since this is basically the kind of food that I could eat every day, I am praying that they stay open and thrive - and that they start offering delivery.
Chowhounders, please take note.
Actually the poster did post this on the Manhattan board.
However, I think there would be more Israeli restaurants in Brooklyn, especially in the Midwood area. I haven't been there in a long time, but I used to go to Cafe Bisseleh on Coney Island Ave. I loved their malawah, and thought it was superior to Rectangles (which I think was the only place I found it in Manhattan).