And it’s about time North Brooklyn had a good deli. This Upper West Side-style Jewish deli looks promising:
The brothers Zach and Alex Frankel were reared on the Upper West Side of Manhattan but live in Brooklyn now and missed the local smoked fish emporiums of their childhood. So they are doing something about it: opening on Saturday on the border between Williamsburg and Greenpoint their own version of the appetizing shops they love. Zach Frankel has been in the restaurant business as a manager and chef; his brother’s career has been in music. Together, as they put it, they’re “paying homage to Barney Greengrass, Murray’s and Russ & Daughters,” with the usual white glazed tiles and old family photos. In addition to selling smoked fish, pastrami, bagels and bialys, they have a chef, Ashley Berman, chopping chicken livers, making matzo ball soup and braising brisket based on a recipe from Anita Frankel, the brothers’ grandmother, for fork-tender beef, a tad sweet in the older generation tradition.
Grub Street has a first look:
Like all aspiring Jewish-food aficionados who grew up on the Upper West Side, brothers and Brooklyn transplants Zach and Alex Frankel spent not a little time flitting from one landmark supply shop to the next. Grossinger’s, Murray’s Sturgeon Shop, Barney Greengrass, and Zabar’s were their regular haunts, supplemented by the occasional downtown day trip to Katz’s and Russ & Daughters. Now, with this retail shop and 18-seat counter-service restaurant, which replaces long-lived neighborhood canteen Polonia, the Frankels have turned nostalgia for the good old fresser days into a business.
Smoked fish from Acme and other sources, Browne Trading Company caviar, and Baz bagels line the refrigerator cases and shelves. Ashley Berman, a Food Network kitchen alum and self-described Jewish-deli obsessive, is the executive chef. Her sandwich-centric menu runs the gamut from a whitefish club to hot pastrami. There’s even a nod to Gray’s Papaya in the form of a two-franks-and-soda “recession special.”
Frankel’s Delicatessen & Appetizing
631 Manhattan Avenue (at Nassau Avenue)