The Second Avenue Deli has been an internationally renowned Gotham landmark for nearly half a century. Over the years, its founder, Abe Lebewohl, provided the best Jewish fare in town, transforming his tiny ten-seat Village eatery into a New York institution.
The Second Avenue Deli Cookbook contains more than 160 of Abe Lebewohl's recipes, including all of the Deli's peerless renditions of traditional Jewish dishes: chicken soup with matzo balls, chopped liver, gefilte fish, kasha varnishkes, mushroom barley soup, noodle kugel, potato latkes, blintzes, and many more. These versatile dishes are perfect for any occasion--from holiday dinners to Sunday brunches with friends and family.
The late Abe Lebewohl was a great restaurateur in the showman tradition and a well-known and much-loved New York personality. His famous Deli attracted hundreds of celebrity patrons, many of whom have graciously contributed to this cookbook not only personal reminiscences but also recipes, running the gamut from Morley Safer's family brisket to Paul Reiser's formula for the perfect egg cream. A wonderful blend of New York and Jewish history and mouthwatering recipes, The Second Avenue Deli Cookbook provides a delicious taste of nostalgia.
The food at The 2nd Ave. Deli
is what your grandmother, mother, or a friend's family cooked. (Especially if you are not Jewish but loved being well fed.) From its recipes for Schmalz (the rendered chicken fat indispensable to real, old-fashioned Jewish dishes) and what is arguably the best chopped liver in the world, to Health Salad (a mayonnaise-less, sweet coleslaw), potato kugel (a dense, crisp-crusted pudding), six versions of chicken soup, a Honey Chiffon Cake served for Jewish New Year, and Mandelbrot, an almond-studded Jewish biscotti, this cookbook offers the best of the hefty, soul-satisfying Jewish cooking that is the ultimate comfort food.
Having survived World War II, and, at 19, hungry to succeed, Abe Lebewohl arrived in New York City in 1950, a Jewish immigrant from Russia. His first job was working in a deli on Coney Island. In 1954, he took over the tiny luncheonette near New York's bustling Lower East Side, which he renamed the 2nd Ave. Deli. From that day forward, he looked after his customers (and everyone else he felt needed it) with spontaneous generosity. The stories in this book from his daughter and other people who knew Abe bring to life the passion and love he served along with the best authentic Jewish home cooking--making it clear why he was called the Mayor of Second Avenue. The deli, a magnet for tourists and New York City locals, is now also a memorial to Abe Lebewohl, who was killed in 1996 during a robbery after the restaurant had closed for the night. His daughter wrote this cookbook as a memorial to him, as well as to share the family's recipes for elemental Jewish cooking. Its 166 recipes, black-and-white photographs, and inspiring text make this a joyful celebration by his family and friends. --Dana Jacobi