Tag Archives: Shelsky’s Smoked Fish

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

SHELSKY'S OF BROOKLYN, 141 Court Street (between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street), Cobble Hill, Brooklyn

Peter Shelsky and I are kindred spirits in the fact that we are both terrible Jews, but we love the nostalgic food of our ancestors. Bagels, lox, cream cheese, pastrami. This is what being Jewish is all about.

Peter took his love for this food one step further. He opened up Shelsky’s, an appetizing store that has sprouted a deli counter. Normally in the kosher tradition you would never find deli meat and cream cheese in the same store. That’s called traif and it’s very unkosher.

But here there’s a treasure trove of traditional (yet not kosher) Jewish specialities in his little shop which moved a few years ago from its original location on Smith Street to Court Street. You can find pickles, chopped liver, and all sorts of smoked salmon and preserved fish. And while you won’t find any bacon, you will find the next best thing: salmon bacon. (more…)


For the fourth year in a row, I present the 100 most exciting dishes I’ve consumed during my food adventures around the five boroughs. Look for another five dishes every few days.

This is truly the year of the mash-up. Last night, most Jews in this country celebrated a once-in-a-lifetime mash-up of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah with cranberry latkes and pecan pie rugelach. But people have been hybrid crazy this entire year. There was even a fried chicken spot called Hybird (now closed). Maybe it all started with that infamous cronut, but here are five other crossbreeds that are pure imagination and deliciousness.

NUMBER 55: ISRAELI SCOTCH EGG at EASTWOOD

Israeli Scotch Egg at EASTWOOD

A Scotch egg is a classic Scottish gutbomb that consists of a hardboiled egg wrapped in crumbled sausage and breadcrumbs. Bringing the cholesterol down just a touch, the vegetarian friendly version at Eastwood throws in a little Israeli flair. A crisp and sesame-laden falafel serves as the exterior and it opens up to reveal a perfectly cooked egg with a decadent yolky center. Garnished with Middle Eastern spices and served with a side of tahini, this is one Scotch egg that is truly kosher. Price: $3

EASTWOOD
200 Clinton Street (at East Broadway),
Lower East Side

(212) 233-0124

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

On the Neighborhood Eats tour that I lead for Urban Oyster, we talk about the unique food ecosystem in the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens. The food businesses in this area collaborate with each other, so if you own a restaurant, you don’t have to leave the street to get your fruit, cheese, meat, or coffee. This is the way it is along Smith Street and you either adapt or you don’t fit in.

Dassara Ramen opened just a few months ago on Smith Street in the former Chestnut space. It’s a spacious hipster haven that puts original spins on Japanese noodle soups. This is not the authentic ramen you will find throughout the East Village. This is something they like to call Brooklyn Ramen.

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For the third year in a row, I’m going to attempt to eat every single item on Time Out New York’s annual 100 Best Dishes list. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100. Let the gluttony continue…

If you ask just about anybody where to get smoked fish in New York, the answer will almost always be Russ & Daughters. And for good reason. This classic, old time Appetizing shop (a kosher food store that does not serve meat) slices some of the best varieties of smoked fish I’ve ever tasted.

But the game has changed a bit. A young guy named Peter Shelsky opened a similar shop in the family friendly neighborhood of Carroll Gardens and is now giving Russ & Daughters a run for their money. Not really. I’m not convinced that this little shop on Smith Street is worth the trip for tourists wanting to taste NY cuisine. Russ & Daughters is closer, larger, and has more history. But for those who live nearby, Shelsky’s is a gem.

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