June 3, 2013

Adding Food for Thought to Good Food is an Idea Whose Time Has Come

Dave, an old-timer who grew up in Washington Heights and now lives in Flatbush, once told me that he remembers the day when kosher restaurants “had someone with an accordion and on special occasions a violinist.” To be sure, we’ve come a long way since those days but I can’t help but notice that many kosher restaurants are adding programs to good food. Restaurants like Talia’s in Manhattan routinely offer themed evenings to go along with the good food. So when Restaurant Guy Elan Kornblum came up with his newest innovation, my wife and I joined.  

A group of some 30 foodies enjoyed great food at Brooklyn’s T-Fusion but also got to hear Allison Joseph of Jew in the City speak about her discovering Orthodox Judaism and sharing these experience with actress Mayin Bialik. A week earlier, a similar event took place at J-Soho in Manhattan. The cost was $60 in advance and $70 at the door for a full course dinner plus the entertainment.  The food was great (the thick succulent steak incidentally appeared to the best choice) but so was Allison. Elan feels that this combination is definitely the trend of the future. He says: “The restaurant is no longer just a destination for people to satiate their appetites but a place where people gather as a community with food being the common interest.”He adds: “It is a trend that has been happening for a few years, with some restaurants doing wine dinners, some bringing in "talent' to entertain their guests and some opening their doors beyond the work week like Friday night and even for Shavuos.”

So how is Elan and his organization planning to further promote this trend? “We are continuing that trend but making it more prevalent and available to the masses. So besides these initial talks by the popular Jew in the City, we will be doing more speaker and lecture series, comedy nights, musician nights and a Foodie Dining Club.” Elan, count me and Hindy in!