A Review of Jezebel

Written by chanie on January 16th, 2013


Jezebel isn’t just another kosher restaurant. It’s a hip, chic and above-average dining experience that just so happens to be kosher. With it’s swanky decor and glamorous style, Jezebel fits right in to the SOHO neighborhood. The ambiance is exquisite – it’s walls are covered in playful tongue-in-cheek prints, mesmerizing light fixtures hang from the ceilings and custom-made finishings that celebrate Jewish culture are scattered throughout. The attention to detail is immaculate, down to the faux icicles on the windowpanes.

The brains behind this elite establishment are ex-financiers Henry Stimler and Menachem Senderovitch. They’ve taken the kosher restaurant experience and turned it on it’s head. At Jezebel, they combine a sophisticated ambiance with exceptional cocktails and cutting edge food. They’ve created a 150-seat bi-level space that allows them to host parties and themed events in their cocktail lounge while simultaneously hosting patrons in their upstairs dining room. There’s nothing these partners haven’t covered. They’ve got a Sunday brunch menu, a catering menu and a cocktail program for which they recruited famed mixologist Nick Mautone. Just recently, they added a Sunday night family BBQ menu as well as Monday night’s Cuban-inspired dinner and Tuesday night’s Tomahawk special. They also regularly host birthday, bachelorette and engagement parties as well as holiday bashes that are the talk of the town.

The talent behind the exciting new menu is Chef Chris Mitchell. Mitchell is a Christian, who worked stints at The Breslin and The Meatball Shop. His approach to kosher cooking is simply this: “Who cares?” If he wants to use bacon, he makes his own (from lamb belly). He fuses creativity with molecular gastronomy to make things like wild mushroom risotto with truffle butter. And I don’t mean with margarine. Mitchell is up for the challenge and uses kosher as an opportunity to be innovative and push the kosher culinary envelope. He also draws inspiration from seasonal, locally-grown produce and sustainable foods to create dishes like pan-seared arctic char with celery root puree & pickled yellow beets.

Chef Mitchell is a firm believer in ending your meal with a bang, so he recruited the young and talented pastry chef, Kevaughn Cakeman Johnson, to reinvent the dessert menu. I visited the restaurant on Kevaughn’s first day but he promises to wow us with brioche donuts (with 3 dipping sauces) and chocolate cake with raspberry caviar. If my hibiscus dessert was any indication, I think we’re in for a real treat.

Yes, I’ll admit that a meal at Jezebel is anything but cheap, but you’re getting what you pay for. When you’re served a 32oz. Prime beef tomahawk steak that’s carved at your table, or a mushroom risotto that’s worthy of the finest dairy Italian restaurant, it’s worth every penny.

One thing is clear. Jezebel isn’t following the trend. They’re creating it. And kosher restaurants everywhere are going to have a hard time keeping up.

You may click on the thumbnails for an enlarged view.

1. House cured lox and tuna tartare with pureed fig and frisee
Simple, fresh and tasty start to our meal.  The pureed fig was an interesting complement to the dish.
2. Braised beef cheek with micro basil and young root vegetables
Aside for the lovely presentation, the beef cheeks were perfectly tender and the young root veggies were really fun, pretty and fresh.
3. Wild mushroom risotto with button, cremini and portobello mushrooms topped with button mushroom chips
If there is one thing that you order at this restaurant, make it this risotto. The ability to make such a rich, creamy and flavorful risotto that’s nondairy is a testament to Chef Chris’s talent. Umami heaven. That’s all I have to say.
4. Pan seared arctic char with celery root puree, beet and herb salad and mint vinaigrette
This was my first time having arctic char, and it won’t be my last. It was so incredibly moist, light and delicious. It tasted like it was fresh from the ocean.
5. 32oz. Tomahawk steak for 2
This steak was so perfectly cooked, it literally melted in my mouth. You have the option of having it carved at your table, or doing the honors yourself. And it was some honor cutting into such a beautifully cooked piece of prime beef. The steak is served simply, no sauces or accompaniments, allowing the to meat speak for itself.
6. Mac n cheese with cheddar, havarti and monterey jack cheese and spicy chorizo
Another great example of the Chef’s culinary genius. I can’t say I was able to detect the different flavors of “cheese”, but the dish was creamy, with pasta cooked to perfection. The bits of spicy chorizo, and the herbed panko crumbs just took it over the top.
7. Truffle fries
These truffle fries are so insanely delicious, even the biggest ketchup enthusiasts won’t be reaching for the squeeze bottle.
8. Hibiscus champagne and ginger compote with pistachio semifreddo & hibiscus flowers
This was no ordinary dessert. Visually, the plate was so stunning, I almost felt guilty eating it. I loved how different and unique this dessert was. It was not flavors I was used to, but it all came together in a well-balanced dish.

Drinks:

Brazilian Bikini
cucumber & mint muddled with sugarcane syrup, veev acai spirit, fresh lime.

This drink was so incredibly fresh tasting, you’ll just want to order another. And another.

L-R Angel, Menachem Senderovitch, Chef Chris Mitchell, Henry Stimler

Jezebel
323 West Broadway
New York, NY 10013
(646) 410-0717
www.jezebelnyc.com

Kosher Supervision under Rabbi Aaron D. Mehlman, National Kosher Supervision. Read more here.

Bar Menu  I  Brunch Menu  I  Lunch Menu  I  Dinner Menu  I  Dessert Menu

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15 Comments so far ↓

  1. i need to try this place already!

  2. chana says:

    It really seems like an awesome place – can’t wait till I’m back in NY to check it out.
    One thing frustrates me, though. Why they would choose to name their restaurant for a child-killer is beyond me.

    • chanie says:

      It’s based on the Bette Davis movie from 1955. The whole premise of the movie is that she stands out. Jezebel is trying to stand out and the name reflects that.

  3. Aidel.K says:

    It looks amazing. What’s the hashgacha?

  4. Hana says:

    Sounds amazing! Would love to fly to NY just to check it out. Also, are you familiar with the foodspotting app? It’s an easy way for your readers to follow all of your dining experiences.

  5. Ronnie Fein says:

    Haven’t been here for a while but these look so good I have to go back now.

  6. yum! looks like you had a great time. i have to go there one day!

  7. ROAD TRIP! Who’s with me?!

  8. Dani Klein says:

    Thankfully, I’ll be trying this place this Tuesday night!

    Just remembered, you and Joe went here that night after the Chanukah event?

  9. Jamie Geller says:

    K this is crazy I am totally drooling and have yet to try it. it will be an absolute MUST on my next trip. Last trip I hit Pardes and now I must go to Jezebel.

  10. Awesome review, everything looks great!!

  11. I have been wanting to try this restaurant for a while, but haven’t made it yet. Thanks for review to help guide my choices for when I finally make it.

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