The Weekly Dish

Experimental performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson hosted the second Seder at Russ & Daughters Cafe last weekend. Photograph courtesy of Russ & Daughers

Lou Reed was reportedly a devoted fan of Russ & Daughters smoked fish. So we thought it was a heimishe touch that the late rock star’s widow, Laurie Anderson, hosted this year’s second seder at Russ & Daughters Cafe on the Lower East Side. Music luminaries Suzanne Vega, Roma Baran and Basya Schechter lent vocal support for the Four Questions and Ten Plagues; guests at the sold-out soiree enjoyed a trad-with-a-twist menu including salmon & whitefish gefilte fish, beef brisket with roasted carrots and almond macaroon cookies…

Photograph courtesy of Russ & Daughters

….Winnipeg is the latest burg to jump on the nouveau-Jewish bandwagon. Chef Jon Hochman just opened Sherbrook Street Delicatessen, whose chopped liver, smoked brisket, beef tongue, pickled herring and fried salami are all made and cured in-house, reports the Winnipeg Free Press.

Some backstory: Hochman had opened Fitzroy, a small-plates joint, in the same space two years ago. Regulars “were far less enthusiastic about Hochman’s higher-concept creations than they were about the Jewish-inspired comfort food that started creeping on to the menu,” the Free Press said. And the delicatessen was born.

Sherbrook Street Deli joins local standbys like Bernsteins deli and The Tallest Poppy, whose chutzpah-filled nouveau-Jewish menu includes pulled pork on challah.

Post-Passover dreaming’… Photograph courtesy of Petite Shell

Here’s something to stash away for after you exit the chametz-free zone: Dark-chocolate-and-Nutella babka has made its debut at Petite Shell, the cool little Upper East Side spot known for handmade rugelach.

Available Thursdays-Saturdays only, Petite Shell’s babka will erupt with a “lava of goodness,” promises owner Shmilly Gruenstein. Petite Shell laminates the dough twice to enhance its density and flakiness. The too-muchness of Nutella gets some balance from African 70% dark chocolate. And semi-sweet chocolate chips are dropped in to achieve “pure chocolate texture.” It’s “freaking incredible”, raves the Gothamist blog.

You’ve been warned!

….If you have to stay in a classroom this summer, might as well make it in Tuscany.

Cookeuro, which offers culinary classes across Europe, is offering a kosher-cooking crash-course this June and July at the new home of Scuola di Arte Culinaria Cordon Bleu in Florence.

The program includes five hands-on, English-language cooking classes with Cordon Bleu owners Cristina Blasi and Gabriella Mari; highlights include “visits to open air markets, the only full-time producer of kosher wine in Italy and olive oil, the museum of a famous shoe designer, along with exploring the countryside.” Meetups with local Jews are also planned.

….Newsday this week profiles the five Hebrews behind The Chinese Quest, the blog that follows “five hungry Jewish guys on a quest to find the best Chinese food on Long Island and NYC.”

“What do Jews like? A bargain AND Chinese food!” kvells the blog, written under pseudonyms like Mee Gonzi Biao, Mee Yojng Joo, and Mee Tsu Yan (say them fast).

Their top-ranked restaurant: Green Leaf in Port Washington, Long Island.

….Chef Ori Menashe of L.A.’s carnivore paradise Bestia has won a coveted spot on Food & Wine mag’s Best New Chefs list for 2015.

“Why he’s amazing: He’s a meat virtuoso. Bestia’s menu offers more than 60 forms of sensational house-made charcuterie in addition to impeccable pastas and pizza,” Food & Wine raves in its announcement of this year’s standouts. The mag also reveals that Menashe is planning “a wood-burning grill and oven spot opening later this year, focusing on the food of his childhood in the Middle East, with influences from Israel, Turkey and Palestine.

Born in L.A. and raised mostly in Israel, Menashe broke into the restaurant business after completing his Israeli military service, according to Starchefs.com.

Michael Kaminer is a frequent contributor to the Forward.

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