Monday, October 15, 2012

NYC Food & Wine Festival: Mile End Shabbat Dinner

Since I don't come from a religious family, we never celebrated Shabbat on Friday nights.

Shabbat is the tradition of lighting candles to welcome in the Jewish Sabbath on Friday night at sundown.

Once in a while, I'll make a roast chicken on a Friday night, just to be nostalgic (like Ina), and maybe buy a hallah bread (braided egg bread), but I've never really embraced the tradition.

We had the opportunity to attend the Mile End Shabbat Dinner Friday night, as part of the NYC Food Network's Food & Wine Festival.

All events were sold out and 100% of the proceeds go to the NYC Food Bank & Share Our Strength charities.

The Mile End Shabbat Dinner was a 9 course dinner, including appetizing from Russ & Daughters (my fave!), Saul's in Brooklyn, and other well known Jewish style delis across the country and Canada, hosted by Mile End Deli.

This is old school, NYC immigrant cuisine.
The cooking of my great grandmother from the Lower East Side, a lost art.
(However, I doubt my bubbie would have stuffed her cabbage rolls with duck confit. Just sayin').

Who is making or eating this kind of food these days?

Well, a cool young couple (who else?) opened a deli in Brooklyn called MILE END, making the most amazing ridiculous sandwiches and Jewish delicatessen foods (more like "delicacies", if you ask me).

Chopped liver with duck jus? Hello?

They have their new sandwich shop, located in Noho in Manhattan, and the actual deli in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. It is worth a trip just to have a pastrami sandwich and a pickle. Holy moly. I will report in on the sandwich soon.

This Friday night feast was like that insane dinner in Paris a few weeks ago. This was the Apicius version for Jews (though there were plenty of non-Jewish people there, including my husband).

Check out this insane menu:

A Moment for Appetizing
Smoked sturgeon, Bordier Beurre aux Algues, black rye bread
Smoked trout mousse, buckwheat blini, French trout roe
Curried herring, roasted dates and cashews, rye crisp bread
(Russ & Daughters)
Gefilte Fish for the Ages
Ground whitefish, pike and carp stuffed into a small seasonal fish w/pickled beets, horseradish vin & herbs
(Mile End)
What!? No Vegetables?
Schmaltzed chanterelles, frisee and radicchio, buckwheat and gribenes
(Saul's Deli)
Whence Came Deli
P'tcha: Pickled veal head & hoof terrine
Kishka: Schmaltz & matzo meal sausage
Helzel: Chicken gizzard, heart & liver stuffed into chicken neck skin
Chicken Scrapple
Vegetarian Pate
(Wise Sons)
Old Faithful, Or Not
Matzo ball soup: Beef shin broth w/bone marrow matzo balls & braised autumn greens
(Mile End)
The Other Jewish Fowl
Duck confit & wild mushroom stuffed cabbage w/melted leeks, duck cracklings and roasted pepper drizzle
(Kenny & Zuke's)
Brisket's for Lovers
 Braised lamb brisket, kasha, baby leeks, preserved tomato and ice wine vinegar
(Kutsher's Tribeca)
A Babka a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Deconstructed babka dessert
(Mile End)
Nana's Cookies  To Take Home
Mandelbrot- Rugelach- Coconut macaroons- Mun cookies- Custard cookies

lamb brisket w/ kasha

Food Highlights:

Noah and his wife brought out huge trays of Hallah bread and said the blessing in Hebrew for the bread and wine. Very nostalgic for us Hebrew school dropouts.

I loved how the appetizing (smoked fish, etc.) was served to us on individual half sheet pans! Very creative and fun. The smoked herring and chopped dates was insanely delicious, as were the little smoked trout blinis.

You hate gefilte fish? Well, you've never tried it made with fresh pike and white fish stuffed in a beautiful grilled sardine. My anti-gefilte fish husband loved it.

Yes, this 14" sheet pan was placed in front of each person......the only thing I was leery about on this tray was the something head & hoof terrine. I don't eat heads or hooves, unless I don't know about it.

The meal ended with a deconstructed babka, which was unique and amazing.

We met wonderful people that evening and it made me think that maybe I should start a new tradition on Friday nights.

Shabbat Shalom! (even though it's Monday).

Recipe tomorrow!


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Patsy said...

I'm with you on that head and hoofs thing. Being one of those types that feels you need to try everything once, I insisted that my traveling companions and I try tete de veau when in Paris in September. Bad idea! 'Nuff said.

christo AKA doggybloggy said...

so very cool

Anonymous said...

I love Mile End Deli....what a great night it looks like! That menu is off the charts!!!

Proud Italian Cook said...

What a nice experience for you, looks like a great night.
so how were the hoofs? did you try it?

Dana said...

What totally cracked me up is that the only thing I could have eaten on the entire menu is the dessert. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

Louis said...

Michael Colameco's Food show showed Mile End Deli and a couple of others in Brooklyn! Looks so good, I have to get there!

Bites from life with the barking lot said...

I love immigrant food, tradition and rugelach. Sounds like an amazing time!