L’Chaim, with Jezebel Restaurant
Forget everything you think you know about Kosher dining because downtown’s latest addition into the Jewish-food trend is anything but typical. Set in a converted 100-year old-carriage house, Jezebel combines extraordinary food with chic atmosphere.
The bi-level space features eye-popping art installations that include nods to Jewish pop culture, such as a painting of The Last Supper with Woody Allen in the Jesus seat. Local celebrities, including Russell Simmons, Bar Refaeli and Jessica Chastain, flock to the richly decorated downstairs lounge to enjoy all- Kosher libations, while Wall Street power players indulge in creative Jewish fare in the expansive second floor dining area.
Jezebel executive chef Chris Mitchell told Haute Living about the innovative techniques he employs to keep the menu 100 percent Kosher and non-dairy, and above all, his quest to make Kosher dining sexy again.
How did your culinary career begin?
Like many others, I started in the dish pit in a 250-seat restaurant at the age of 14. I instantly fell in love with the business and knew that this would end up being my future.
What appetizer, entrée and dessert dishes are Jezebel most known for?
As far as appetizers, either be our signature Mac & Cheese with chorizo and poblano peppers or our Wild Mushroom Risotto with housemade truffle “butter.” For entrées, I would suggest our new 34oz Tomahawk Steak cooked to perfection or the 11oz Wagyu. I am constantly creating and playing with new dishes, but right now, these are the two showstoppers. For dessert, we make an amazing Sweet Potato Soufflé with Spiced Ganache that people really love.
Is the restaurant 100% Kosher?
We are kosher and non-diary so no butter, cream, pork or shellfish. A lot of the things I used to have at my disposal in my other restaurants, I don’t have at Jezebel. I embrace this challenge. For example, for our Mac & Cheese I obviously can’t use real cheese so it took three weeks of tinkering to find the right ingredients to create fake cheese and have it still taste delicious. I play with a lot of molecular techniques to create substitutes for what I can’t use due to kosher limitations. I am under fulltime rabbinical supervision to make sure all kosher laws are followed.
What are your favorite food haunts in NYC?
Tacombi for amazing tacos, Sons of Essex, Yerba Buena and the bar at WD 50. And of course, The Breslin and Jezebel.
Why do you think Jezebel has become so popular in NYC?
I think that first and foremost, it’s just so unique as a concept. The design is super playful with lots of great art. We are making kosher food cool, which is something never done before, so Jews and non-Jews can have a sexy, fun place to come enjoy amazing food and libations. All the pretty girls that come here don’t hurt either! You are not just coming to eat and leave, you’re coming to eat and have fun. We believe that dining is the new nightlife.