The Sizzle and the steak

Rishon Lezion gets top-notch fare that meets or beats NYC expectations.

New York Steakhouse (photo credit: Courtesy)
New York Steakhouse
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Start spreading the news: Israel has a first-class steakhouse that rivals – if not betters – any kosher restaurant in the Big Apple. This is a place where style and sizzle meet first-class food.
It begins with the ambience. Rishon Lezion’s New York Steakhouse is set along a scenic, meandering lake that affords a beautiful view and a pastoral-like atmosphere.
The walls of the restaurant are dotted with delightful pictures of New York’s world-famous skyline and major attractions, and there is a floor-to-ceiling display of hundreds of bottles of fine wines to choose from to accompany your dinner.
There is an open kitchen – the latest trend in up-scale restaurants – that allows the customer, if so desired, to see his or her meat selection being prepared.
The waiters are attentive and polite, but not overbearing, and among the friendliest I’ve ever encountered.
The owners of the establishment – Simon Asraf and his son, Sammy – take personal interest in every customer as if they were family.
Simon’s life path led him from Morocco to London to New York and finally to Rishon Lezion, where he opened NY Steakhouse a year-and-a-half ago, fulfilling his lifelong dream to create a kosher establishment that was every bit as tasty and attractive as New York’s countless eateries. And he has succeeded, big time.
The food is simply out of this world. We began with drinks from the well-stocked bar. I chose a glass of red Tavor. My partner had NYS’s signature cocktail, the Hurricane, which combined rum, passion-fruit juice, Sprite, lemon and mint.
It perfectly set the stage for the meal to come. Our appetizers included beef and eggplant carpaccio (54 nis), and mushroom and chestnut Risotto (68 nis), a superb combination of portobello, oyster and shimeji mushrooms in a reduced truffle sauce.
Both were excellent, but nothing can really compare with the New York Pancake (62 nis) – pulled short-rib in BBQ sauce sandwiched between two light pancakes, flavored with maple chipotle and garnished with hazel nuts and pistachios.
Truth be told, we could have stopped right there and been satisfied but the best was yet to come. While the menu does include salmon filet, pasta and Cajun chicken selections, this is, after all a steakhouse.
And so the entrées of choice are the incredible meats – Black Angus imported from Nebraska and aged 30-60 days, depending on the cut. I opted for the prime rib (195 nis), while my partner went with the tried-and-true entrecête, 300 gram (178 nis).
Sides included perfectly roasted potato wedges and an assortment of grilled vegetables. We traded meals mid-way, and neither of us was the least bit disappointed.
Of course, no dinner is complete without dessert, and so we loosened our belts and shared servings of Snickers chocolate bar (42 nis) and strawberry cheesecake (36 nis), with a side of peanut butter ice cream. All pareve, of course.
In addition to individual dining, the restaurant hosts events of up to 160 persons. There is also a private room on-site. While we were there, a birthday party for 35 people was in progress.
There is ample parking close to the restaurant. And as it adjoins the Yes Planet mega-entertainment complex – which includes 28 theaters – it’s the perfect place to enjoy dinner and a film.
I asked Sammy what the overall goal of New York Steakhouse is. He simply replied, “We want all of our customers to leave with a smile on their face.” Mission accomplished.
New York Steakhouse
Kosher: Rabbanut, full-time mashgiach, glatt meat
Yes Planet complex, Rishon Lezion, HaMea V’Esrim St. 6
Su-Th: 1 p.m.-Midnight, Sat: One hour after Shabbat-1 a.m.
Phone: 03-931-1419
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.