Chef Nir Mesika.
New Mediterranean in New York
Nir Mesika, former executive chef of Brooklyn’s beloved Middle Eastern joint has hung out his own shingle in the East Village.
Contemporary Mediterranean spot Timna opened last week with fusion-y plates like Yemenite kubaneh bread with heirloom tomatoes, roasted cauliflower with labane and “Mediterranean sashimi” of sea bass with quinoa tabouli and tzatziki.
The restaurant takes its name “from dual geographical locations of the same name: Timna Valley in Israel, a place of geological and historical significance, and Yemen’s ancient city of Timna, an important hub in the Incense Route.”
Toronto Mayor John Tory (center, in tie) with the Caplansky’s crew.
Toronto Mayor Mans Thunderin’ Thelma
To celebrate the relaxation of ultra-strict rules around food trucks in Canada’s largest city, Hizzoner slung deli food last week from Thunderin’ Thelma, as Caplansky’s food truck is affectionately called.
“Mayor John Tory was a model employee,” owner Zane Caplansky tells Dish. “He showed up on time, in uniform, well-groomed and ready for action. He made no mistakes with the cash, was polite to customers and loved by his coworkers — maybe because he shook down some guests for bigger tips.”
The festivities were deemed #FoodTruckFreedom day.
Oregon Gets Second Spielman’s
That’s the cheer heard around Portland, Oregon, after local baker Spielman Bagels announced it would open a second location where — until recently — chain bagelry Einstein Bros cranked out “bagels that had more in common with a loofah than a baked good,” according to Portland Monthly.
The news gets even better for Portland deli lovers: Spielman’s father-and-son owners Rick and Raf Spielman tell Portland Monthly their big new space will include a full bakery, selling classic deli pastries like rugelach, hamantaschen, cheesecake and challah.
Possibly encroaching on the turf of local artisan deli Kenny and Zuke’s, the Spielmans plan to smoke their own brisket and pastrami, expanding into a fully-fledged delicatessen, Portland Monthly says.
Yada, Yada, Yada — Let’s Eat!
The fraught relationship between Jews and food is the subject of the latest Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s hugely popular online series.
A highlight: Seinfeld interrupts a confession by Sarah Silverman to order creamer: “In the Jewish view of life, my half-and-half and your depression — those things are kind of equal,” he tells her.
Michael Kaminer is a contributing editor at the Forward.