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Chanukah Dinner?

gateway girl Dec 2, 2012 10:38 AM

We are looking for a place to have a traditional Chanukah dinner for 10 people. I tried Kutscher's but they don't seem to have brisket (only something made with lamb). Any suggestions? Thank you.

  1. s
    sugartoof Dec 3, 2012 01:35 PM

    I've never heard of Brisket for Chanukah.

    The best brisket in the city is associated with bbq places, but figuring out if any of those happen to have a potato pancake appetizer, or offer it on special during the holiday is a project.

    Telepan offers latkes on their menu, paired with lox. They have rib eye on the menu, if that works.

    Miles End typically does a special holiday menu if you're considering takeout (they're too small to handle a party of 10).

    Maybe David's Brisket House? Gottlieb's?

    Jezebel is a newish kosher restaurant attempting high end dining, but I don't think they offer meat at all.

    I wouldn't bother with 2nd Ave. (which is not good for groups) or Katz's.
    Artie's or Junior's would handle the group size okay, and I believe have the menu combo you want, but these aren't great suggestions.

    I wonder if places like Bowery Diner or Delicatessen might work?
    Ukranian Home also comes to mind, but I can't recall if they have brisket.

    What about splitting up your dinner and visiting more than one place in the night?
    Better yet, I'd suggest focusing on the latkes, and jelly donuts, the two items traditional for that particular holiday.

    12 Replies
    1. re: sugartoof
      zin1953 Dec 3, 2012 02:14 PM

      >>> The best brisket in the city is associated with bbq places, but figuring out if any of those happen to have a potato pancake appetizer, or offer it on special during the holiday is a project. <<<
      As Anthony Bourdain said, "Only Jews and Texans understand brisket . . . "

      1. re: zin1953
        sugartoof Dec 3, 2012 06:17 PM

        "As Anthony Bourdain said, "Only Jews and Texans understand brisket . . . ""

        I actually seem to recall reading that a few of the Texas style BBQ pitmasters in NY were coincidentally Jewish.

      2. re: sugartoof
        iluvcookies Dec 3, 2012 05:44 PM

        You've never heard of Brisket for Chanukah? Really? Growing up, every single one of my Jewish friends' families served it on Chanukah. When I make it, my husband calls it "Chanukah food".
        It is nothing like smoked or BBQ brisket... a whole different animal.

        1. re: iluvcookies
          sugartoof Dec 3, 2012 06:17 PM

          Both lamb and brisket are common holiday meals now that cholent and tzimmis aren't as commonplace, but I'm not aware of any association with any single holiday.

          Chanukah food is fried for symbolic reasons.
          Potato pancakes and brisket together? Usually the Latkes are the main course.

          1. re: sugartoof
            iluvcookies Dec 4, 2012 04:31 AM

            Potato Pancakes and brisket together... several times at Chanukah meals at friend's homes when I was growing up. Latkes were a big deal, as were other fried foods but brisket was definitely served when guests were coming.

            1. re: iluvcookies
              sugartoof Dec 4, 2012 08:09 AM

              Out of curiosity, what region did you grow up in?

              Latkes are meant to be the meal itself, not just a big deal. Using frying oil as the focus of the meal is considered part of observing the holiday.

              Nothing says you can't garnish it with a slab of beef, if you want. There's just nothing that makes brisket any more traditional than lamb, because these are just your personal family traditions. I do see from google that there are a fair number of recipes for a "Chanukah brisket", so it is a real thing for some families.

              1. re: sugartoof
                iluvcookies Dec 4, 2012 08:46 AM

                I grew up in NYC (Manhattan/Queens)... It seems like the brisket was considered "company food" by several of my friend's families, and they had a lot of (non-family) company on Chanukah for some reason or another. Brisket and latkes were the centerpiece of what they served.

          2. re: iluvcookies
            dyrewolf Dec 3, 2012 07:01 PM

            Brisket is Rosh Hashana and Passover food, latkes and other fried food (because it is the Festival of Oil Lamps really) are Chanukah food, Chinese is Christmas food for Jews, Matzoh balls Passover etc..

            1. re: dyrewolf
              intrepid3591 Dec 4, 2012 06:11 AM

              in israel its fried foods indeed, zalabya , its like a zeppole, chinese jewish xmas food?? wow never heard that dyrewolf you a deadhead??

              1. re: intrepid3591
                zin1953 Dec 4, 2012 06:34 AM

                You've never looked within a Chinese restaurant on Xmas? Not only will it be filled with Asians and Jews, but all pork and shellfish dishes are Kosher! ;^)

                1. re: zin1953
                  dyrewolf Dec 4, 2012 06:46 AM

                  yes, that is actually part of the X-mas miracle is that Jews can eat whatever they want that night without it being a sin. and if it falls on the sabbath, it is still OK to go to the movies... (said by a bacon eating, sabbath driving all year MOT)

                2. re: intrepid3591
                  dyrewolf Dec 4, 2012 06:49 AM

                  Yes, I hail from the Timbers of Fennario (turns out, that is in the Bronx)

          3. p
            Pan Dec 2, 2012 02:58 PM

            What's in a traditional Chanukah dinner, other than latkes (and apparently brisket)? Sufganiyot for dessert (which I don't remember from my childhood in the 70s)? Roast chicken, maybe? I frankly do not have any sense that there's anything traditional for Ashenazic Chanukah other than latkes and Chanukah gelt, but I'd be interested to hear what your experience is.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Pan
              Sneakeater Dec 2, 2012 02:59 PM

              Isn't it just essentially "anything fried"?

              1. re: Sneakeater
                Pan Dec 2, 2012 03:57 PM

                Yeah, fried plus chocolate, I figure.

              2. re: Pan
                gateway girl Dec 2, 2012 04:18 PM

                We were looking for a place that serves brisket, roast chicken, latkes, and matzo ball soup. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks

                1. re: gateway girl
                  iluvcookies Dec 2, 2012 04:47 PM

                  2nd Ave Deli serves all of those dishes on a regular basis... not sure if they will do anything special for Chanukah.


                  1. re: iluvcookies
                    zin1953 Dec 3, 2012 07:17 AM

                    True, but Katz's is better . . . .

                    1. re: zin1953
                      iluvcookies Dec 3, 2012 07:55 AM

                      Generally speaking, yes. But does Katz's serve brisket regularly?

                      Oh yes, they do! I've never ordered it there... thanks :)


                      1. re: iluvcookies
                        Pan Dec 3, 2012 09:51 PM

                        Yeah, actually, their brisket may be their second-best item (it's between that and their corned beef), provided that you get it juicy.

                2. re: Pan
                  tex.s.toast Dec 3, 2012 02:17 PM

                  apparently organized labor is to blame (credit?) with the popularity of sufganiyot (jelly donuts) as a celebratory hannukah food. according to the author latkes lacked commercial appeal - though they obviously never spoke to the good folks at russ and daughters who get like 3 bucks each.


                  1. re: tex.s.toast
                    Pan Dec 3, 2012 09:56 PM

                    Interesting article. Thank you.

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