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The Kosher Table
Cafe Shira - CLICK to see a larger, detail view of Cafe Shira, a Great Kosher Restaurant

Photo copyright Elan Kornblum courtesy of Great Restaurants Kosher Edition.

Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine
A feast for the eyes..

-- Lisa Kelvin Tuttle

One of my goals in writing The Kosher Table has been to promote the growing number of kosher eateries in the Delaware Valley and surrounding communities. I was delighted to discover a magazine whose mission in spreading the word about kosher establishments goes even further.

Elan Kornblum, publisher of Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine wanted to do for the kosher world what his business partner and friend Morris Sendor's publication, Great Restaurants, has done for the general public. Kornblum, who worked in commercial sales before breaking into publishing, launched his magazine in 2002. The kosher edition has been circulated for about three years and appears to have some staying power.

The 2006 International Edition is a 160-page glossy magazine showcasing both upscale and casual kosher restaurants across the U.S. as well as Canada, Israel, Argentina, and Australia. It provides a valuable service to both the kosher consumer and the proprietor by bringing the two together. The 2007 issue is coming out in the fall, and will feature three Philadelphia-area restaurants:

  • Café Shira, 134 Bala Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, 

  • Yi-Tzi Peking, 145 Montgomery Avenue, Bala Cynwyd; and  

  • Espresso Café and Sushi Bar, 7814 Castor Avenue, North Philadelphia.

You might ask, 'Why is this restaurant directory different from all other restaurant directories?' Kornblum's answer is that it focuses on the visual appeal of the restaurant. "The beautiful pictures [taken by Kornblum, himself] allow you to experience the flavor and atmosphere of the establishment. People hold onto the magazine throughout the year, display it on their coffee tables, and refer to it often. The restaurants have reported great success from it and many have expressed gratitude for helping them get off the ground. There's prestige in being featured," Kornblum stated. Restaurants are selected based on recommendations from reliable sources, ratings, reviews, and the publishers' own dining experiences and are charged a fee to be included.

Elan personally visits and profiles most of the restaurants. He is so devoted to his readers that he invites them to call him directly with questions, suggestions, or recommendations for new venues to include in the magazine.

In addition to being beautiful and informative, the magazine is fun to read. Scattered amidst the many restaurant and chef profiles in the 2006 edition are articles by well-known food personalities, such as "Tom's Top Ten: Ten of the Most Hilarious and True Restaurant Stories Ever told," by restaurant owner and chef, Tom Shaudel, and "The Journey of a Lifetime," an autobiographical account by Jeff Nathan, host of public television's 'New Jewish Cuisine' and executive chef/owner of Abigael's in Manhattan. There's also a great recipe section.

The magazine's companion website is truly a 'service-added' venue. The site features a dining club that people can join for $5.00 a year to get 20% to 50% discounts at featured restaurants, printable restaurant menus, and a popular message board where Elan posts up-to-the-minute restaurant industry news, and where diners can share their experiences. An important benefit of the message board is the instant feedback it affords the restaurants, allowing their owners to create a better dining experience for their customers.

Elan Kornblum's hope is that the magazine will show Jewish readers the breadth and variety of restaurants that are out there so that they will choose to eat kosher when they eat out. I think it does just that. Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine is available at major booksellers and on select newsstands. Get one for yourself and one for all your friends. At just $3.00, it makes a great gift.

Until we eat again . . .


Lisa Kelvin Tuttle has professional experience in the gourmet, catering, and health-food fields, as well as being an experienced kosher camp cook. Her greatest pleasure, though, is cooking Shabbos dinner for family and friends. She is Communications Director for the Jewish Reconstructionist Federation and resides with her husband, Alan, and sons Adam and Jeremy in Wynnewood.

All questions concerning the kashrut of the establishments featured in this column should be directed to your rabbi. 

  Steamed Chilean Sea Bass over Fresh Egg Noodles, Miso Broth and Shitake Mushrooms

Try this simple, delicious, and elegant presentation of Chilean sea bass from Chef Liron Meller, a New York-based chef and food stylist, owner of www.mycookingparty.com  (888-435-CHEF). It is sure to please everyone at your table.

Serves 4

  • 4 nine-ounce Chilean sea bass fillets, skin off
  • 2 pounds fresh egg noodles
  • 3 tablespoons miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • ˝ pound shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  1. Clean mushrooms and cut the stems off.
  2. In a soup pot combine the soy sauce, sugar, and water. Bring to a gentle boil.
  3. Whisk in the miso paste and simmer for 5 minutes
  4. Season the Chilean sea bass filets with salt and pepper
  5. In a large sauté pan, place 12 ounces of broth and the fish fillets. Cover.
  6. Simmer on medium-low heat for about 8 minutes (until fish is fully cooked and flaky).
  7. Transfer the fish to another plate and add the egg noodles to the same pan. This time on high heat. Cook for about 3 minutes

To plate: place some noodles in a bowl-shaped plate, top with a piece of fish. Pour a full ladle of the miso broth with mushrooms. Sprinkle with scallions and serve

  Pan Roasted Chicken Breast served with Chamomile and Honey Glazed Root Vegetables, Parsnip Puree and Pan Gravy

This flavorful dish from Chef Michael Gershkovich, executive chef and proprietor of Mike's Bistro in Manhattan is worth every step of preparation.

Yields 2 portions

  • 2 boneless or Frenched* chicken breasts, with skin on
  • 2 large diced parsnips
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium diced carrot
  • 2 ounces brewed chamomile tea (strong)
  • Canola oil as needed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper as needed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs

*To 'French' chicken breasts, remove the tip and first joint of the wing of each one, leaving the second joint attached to the breast. For best results, have your butcher do this. 

For the sauce:

  • 5 ounces chicken broth
  • Splash white wine
  • 2 pinches flour

To prepare the parsnip puree: Simmer parsnips gently in salted water until very tender. Place warm cooked parsnips in blender or food processor and process until creamy. Add extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper to provide flavor. This can be reheated or held warm.

To prepare root vegetables: Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place oven-safe roasting pan inside oven to get hot. Toss deiced celery root in hot pan and allow to roast until tender. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature. Repeat this process with remaining root vegetables.

To finish and glaze root vegetables: In a hot sauté pan, add roasted vegetables, chamomile tea and honey and cook until vegetables are glazed and liquid is reduced. If the pan is hot this should take about one minute.

Cooking chicken breast: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Season dry chicken breasts thoroughly with kosher salt and pepper. Put canola oil in pre-heated sauté pan and place chicken skin side down. Immediately place in oven and allow to cook for 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove chicken breast and allow to "rest" while sauce is being made.

To prepare sauce: Remove excess oil from sauté pan leaving a teaspoon of fat. Add flour to fat, cook for 20 seconds on low heat. Deglaze pan with white wine and chicken broth, scraping solids off bottom of pan. Reduce by half or until desired consistency is achieved.

To serve: Slice chicken breast on the diagonal or serve whole. Place chicken on a bed of parsnip puree, accompanied by roasted vegetables. Finish with gravy. Bon appetit!

Recipes reprinted from Great Kosher Restaurants Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 1, with permission of the publisher.

Previously on the Kosher Table