New York City is invigorating, even on a cold rainy day in the end of October. I am on the East Coast this week for a family wedding and all the other parties that go with that life affirming occasion.
After arriving at JFK, late Wednesday afternoon, we immediately headed for Manhattan’s Lower East Side near SoHo (South of Houston St) to check out the hip fashion scene and purchase vegan (non Leather) shoes for my nephew. At 5:30 we headed up to the famed Kalustyan's, one of my all time favorite stores, to lay in a supply of rice, including, aromatic Egyptian, Pink Madagascar, Red Wehani and Turkish Baldo. Kalustyan's is an inspiration to me, its shelves chock full of rice, spice and everything nice since 1944.
After Kalustyan's we went up to 79th and Amsterdam, dropped off a package at a friend’s co-op and then headed back down to 46th street between 5th and 6th to Le Marais, a venerable (for those of you outside of New York, yes there is such a thing) kosher steak house. Lucky for us there is a valet parking lot next door to Le Marais for only $50.00 for the evening. I picked up the parking.
Le Marais serves fine prime steaks, chops, the best French fries I have tasted in a while, along with a great selection of appetizers, deserts and other accompaniments. To view the extensive menu click here. The restaurant boasts a full bar and fine wine cellar as well. The dark wood paneling pub type lighting, fantastic looking meat display counter and boisterous packed crowd creates an inviting ambience.
We were a party of 10 and they graciously seated us at a large round table upstairs in an alcove. I ordered, mushroom empanadas, mixed beet salad, Moroccan lamb chili, and a 16 ounce medium rare rib eye with French fries.
A bottle of Herzog Winery’s Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was great with steak. The wine list of Le Marais is quite extensive including wines from France, Israel, California and more up and coming places like Australia, New Zealand and Chile. The restaurant also carries draught beer and bottled. For desert we shared a sampler of deserts, including chocolate mousse, lemon tart, and a pistachio cake topped with meringue and filled with peanut butter mousse. A cup of coffee was great.
The warm crusty French bread slices served with a fruity olive oil, took the edge off of my hunger, and warmed me up from the damp outside. The starters were quite flavorful, especially the Moroccan spicy lamb chili garnished with guacamole.
Tasting of the live flame from the grill, my steak was succulent, very prime, and came done the way I requested. The accompanying French fries were super crispy; I suspect twice fried and had that taste like the original Mickey D’s fries. I wonder if there is beef tallow in the grease they are fried in. Wow.
The conversation was that fun repartee between people who know each other, and have lots to catch up on. My cousin Susan who had flown in from Seattle was amazed that there even exists a quality kosher steak house.
The deserts were great, but after eating a 16 ounce rib eye, who cared? Be sure and visit Le Marais if you are looking for Kosher next time you are in New York City. Reservations recommended.