Jezebel, envisioned by founding partners and first-time restaurateurs Henry Stimler and Menachem Senderowicz of B&Y Hospitality (British & Yiddish), opened last week, featuring sophisticated, modern American fare in the heart of Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood [323 West Broadway, between Canal and Grand Streets]…and it all happens to be kosher.
“Despite being in a city with some of the hottest restaurants in the world, Menachem and I often find ourselves staring at a menu where we can only eat a handful of things,” says Stimler. “With Jezebel, we’re breaking the mold. We’ve combined a sexy, fun environment with a completely kosher menu, offering an experience unlike anything in Manhattan.” Senderowicz adds, “Kosher dining doesn’t have to mean boring. Our creative riffs on classic American cuisine will take it to a whole new level.”
The stage for this new take on kosher dining is set with a dramatic design. Conceived by Studios GO, Jezebel is housed in an 1887 townhouse that has been transformed from the ground up, offering seating for roughly 50 on the first floor and 100 on the second. Throughout the entire space, nods to Jewish icons and playful biblical references, such as a grand rams-horn chandelier, combine to communicate a whimsical Jewish theme and deep pride, in a tasteful manner.
On the first floor, majestic doors open into a rich, warm, vestibule where a faux-fur curtain partitions the hostess stand from the recluse first floor lounge. Ideal for after work cocktails and late night revelry, the lounge tempts guests to linger with its plush, black leather banquettes, gold onyx lighting, relief arches and gold stained walls. Custom, natural light fixtures and one-of-a-kind artwork (imagined by Stimler and created by young New York artists Ari Grazi and David Armstrong) decorate the space. As a special touch, Shimon Okshteyn’s “Angels“ painting hangs opposite the eight-seat bar, located in the back of the lounge, marking the first collaboration between father and son. A full menu, as well as a special bar menu, are both available in the lounge.
Upon entering, guests will find a red carpet clad stairway directing them upstairs to an expansive second floor that’s accented with dark chocolate wood and natural tones. Central to the dining room, the main bar, overflowing with fresh herbs and composed of black leather, is punctuated with alternating high-gloss black wood fins and back-lit white onyx panels, and boasts over 300 floating bottles of wine.
Overlooking West Broadway resides a flexible private dining room, home to a pair of display cases showcasing family heirlooms, keepsakes and black and white photos, all paying homage to Senderowicz and Stimler’s rich family histories. Additional custom artwork and light fixtures (designed by New York artists Jacob Zurilla and Bradley Rothenberg, respectively), along with black, leather banquets, walnut-finished table tops and mahogany chairs, anchor the central bar.
But perhaps the most distinguishing feature of Jezebel is its menu. For his first foray in kosher cooking, Culinary Director Bradford Thompson (who is not Jewish) has created a seasonal menu that elevates the traditional kosher dining experience with a focus on modern American cuisine that also draws influences from all over the world. The dinner menu spans a selection of Starters, Appetizers, Entrees, A La Carte and Seasonal Vegetables. Starters feature a selection of small plates, such as Fried Artichokes a la Judea, Toasted Lemon Aioli, Appetizers include: Roasted Bone Marrow, Parsley, Pickled Onion, Toasted Breadcrumbs and innovative new dishes like Jewish Italian Wedding Soup, Chicken Meatballs, Lemon Oil, and Entrees feature dishes like Grilled Cornish Hen, Warm Bread Salad, Olives, Swiss Chard and Olive Oil Poached Cod, Basquaise Style Peppers, Parsley.
The menu is rounded out with A La Carte items like Cote de Beouf (for two) and Seaweed-Salt Baked Whole Branzino, and Seasonal Vegetable sides like Duck Fat Potatoes, Rosemary, Salt Flakes. While the meat-focused menu excludes all dairy products, Thompson has created a menu of lavish desserts, such as Peanut Butter Bar, Caramelized Banana, Chocolate Glaze, Salted Peanuts and Anise Scented Pavlova, Strawberries, Lime Curd, that leaves nothing to be desired.
To complement the menu, a uniquely kosher wine list, as well as a selection of enticing libations, has been created by renowned mixologist and wine expert Nick Mautone (formerly of Gramercy Tavern). The 125-bottle list features Old World and New World varietals, such as Goose Bay from New Zealand. Jezebel’s cocktail list can be enjoyed throughout the restaurant, and includes seasonally inspired, hand-crafted cocktails like Jezebel’s Kiss, Saffron Infused Caza Dores Tequila, Blood Orange, Black Grapes, and Lavender Bitters.
Upholding the highest standards in food and service, Jezebel offers an edgy dining experience unique to SoHo. From the contemporary American menu perfected within the kosher restrictions and guidelines, to the unique artwork, Jezebel’s attention to detail engages guests and keeps them coming back for more.
[Editor’s note: The Jewish Voice will, b’li neder, be featuring a more in-depth culinary review of Jezebel by one of our top food writers, after the Nine Days, so be sure to look for it!]
Jezebel is located at 323 West Broadway, between Canal and Grand Streets, in SoHo. The restaurant serves dinner only: Monday – Thursday 5:30pm – 11:30pm and Sunday from 5:00pm – 12:00am; Friday night prepaid Shabbat dinners will be coming soon, as well as Sunday brunch. The lounge, where guests can enjoy the dinner menu in full or the bar menu, is open Monday – Thursday until 1:00am, and from sundown until 2:00am on Saturday evenings. For more information, please visit www.jezebelSoHo.com or call 646-410-0717.