(photo credit: DAN PERETZ)
Acclaimed Israeli chef Meir Adoni is fulfilling a long-term goal of his: opening up a restaurant in New York City, he announced Tuesday.
“In September I will open a restaurant in New York and fulfill my biggest dream,” Adoni wrote in a post on Instagram. “[It will be] a small restaurant, full of love and passion, full of cuisine that will spread and give respect to the 68 years of our country’s history and prove its greatness.”
The chef – fresh off his second win on the Israeli reality TV competition “Game of Chefs” (in the show’s only two seasons) – posted the announcement alongside a video of him affixing a mezuza to the doorpost of his new restaurant – and reciting the accompanying blessing.
According to Adoni’s spokeswoman, the restaurant will be located in downtown Manhattan, on 20th Street just next to Union Square. It will be a Middle Eastern bistro – but will it be kosher? Adoni owns four restaurants in Israel, all in Tel Aviv. Two of them – Lumina and Blue Sky – are kosher, and two – Catit and Mizlala – are not.
Last year, in an interview with The Jerusalem Post
, Adoni said opening a restaurant in New York was a ten-year dream of his and he wants it to be kosher.
“Today the kosher world really speaks to me; it’s a huge success that I have two kosher restaurants in Israel,” Adoni said in September.
“I knew it would work, but I didn’t know how much.”
The Jewish community around the world “is yearning for kosher, Jewish food at this level,” he said.
“From what I have experienced in the world there are very few quality kosher restaurants, and I don’t see any clear reason why it is like that.
“How can it be that in London, Paris and New York there aren’t any great chef restaurants that are kosher?” he asked. “They have amazing ingredients, and there is a community that is ready and knows how to pay, so where is there a problem?” But Adoni must have encountered some problem since his representatives confirmed that his upcoming New York eatery will not, in fact, be kosher. His spokeswoman said the chef’s dream of opening a kosher place is still in the pipelines, and that “the next restaurant [in New York] will be kosher.” She added that the non-kosher business simply came to fruition first.
This won’t be Adoni’s first venture outside of Tel Aviv – but it is his first outside the country. In October, he opened a fifth restaurant, Czarina, in Caesarea. But that closed after just three months of operation, due to unspecified reasons. The father of four did not indicate how much time he will be spending in New York to facilitate the restaurant’s start – and once it has opened its doors.
Adoni will be joining a long line of famed chefs building on their success in Israel, trying their hand at the culinary business overseas.
Eyal Shani owns eateries in Paris and Vienna and Assaf Granit has won accolades for Palomar in London.
Baker Uri Scheft, who owns Lehamim in Tel Aviv, has three successful branches of Breads Bakery in Manhattan, the first of which opened in 2013. It is no surprise then to hear that Gadi Peleg, business partner in New York, is also teaming up with Adoni in his newest venture.