A number of incredible New York chefs have helped distinguish Israeli food; long lumped under the label of undifferentiated Middle Eastern cuisine. Think Einat Admony (Balaboosta), Nir Mesika (Timna), and recent James Beard Award winner, Michael Solomonov, whose revered hummus-centric eatery, Dizengoff, has proven a destination-worthy addition to Chelsea Market. And now, a Tel Aviv luminary is now serving as an extra special ambassador to the country’s native fare; opening his first stateside restaurant, Nur, in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.
A celebrity chef, food television personality and established restaurateur back in Israel, Meir Adoni’s become known for coupling traditional, local flavors with his own Moroccan heritage and admirable French technique. And that’s largely what you’ll find at his new, 60-seat establishment, encapsulated by his signature take on the Tunisian fricassee sandwich, featuring a croissant wrapped around potato salad, pickled egg and — believe it or not — veal brain.
In addition to an equally intriguing bread selection (i.e., Honey and Garlic Challah, Yemeni Kubaneh with grated tomato and schug), Nur’s small plates run the gamut from Gefilte Shrimp with dashi gelee to Date Doughnuts paired with almonds and smoked trout, while larger feeds include Sea Bass with freekah risotto, Smoked Eggplant Carpaccio fire-roasted with feta, and “Turkish Delight on the Hudson” — a Middle East meets East Coast assemblage of foie gras, coffee, honey lavender yogurt and figs.
Thanks to emissaries like Nur, New York’s Israeli fare has emerged well beyond shawarma shops and pita palaces.
34 E 20th St