Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

RUSS & DAUGHTERS, 179 East Houston Street (between Allen and Orchard Street), Lower East Side

I’m a pretty terrible Jew. While I was raised conservatively, Bar Mitzvah’ed, and all that, I have strayed from my roots. I’ve become oblivious to even the major holidays. Today is the first day of Rosh Hashanna and I completely forgot. In fact, I was supposed to go eat some BBQ pork ribs with some friends while my fellow chosen people are home, praying, and hopefully keeping kosher. I’m terrible!

I did stop into Russ & Daughters, that emporioum of Jewish smoked fish and dairy the other day for a snack and I saw they had rolled out their gefilte fish. They only bring this out twice a year – so I realized a big Jewish holiday must be approaching.

Gefilte Fish at RUSS & DAUGHTERS

Gefilte fish is the subject of many nightmares of young Jewish kids forced to eat that gelatinous fish mound at the holiday table. Honestly I never minded the stuff that much. But I knew it had to get better than those store-bought science experiments.

Salmon and Whitefish Gefilte Fish at RUSS & DAUGHTERS

Russ & Daughters makes both a traditional gefilte fish (from pike, whitefish, and carp) and a much more mild, fancier version with salmon and whitefish. The latter tastes like actual meat from the sea with enough dill and pepper to elevate this to restaurant quality food. It wouldn’t be surprising if this was an appetizer at a fancy French restaurant that called it “fish paté”.

If the gefilte fish my parents brought to the table was this tasty, I might not have turned into such a bad Jew.

RUSS & DAUGHTERS
179 East Houston Street (between Allen and Orchard Street)
Lower East Side
(212) 475-4880
russanddaughters.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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