Despite the thaw we’re experiencing after an intense cold snap, we are still solidly in matzo-ball soup weather. Next week, the humble staple of the Ashkenazi culinary canon will be celebrated at the first official Kneydl Bar, a pop-up in L.A. dedicated to matzo balls.
This fragrant, soul-satisfying dish is fast enough to make on a weeknight. If you don’t have lemongrass, don’t sweat it — the ginger, garlic and spices make it flavorful enough, though lemongrass does add an herbal-meets-citrus element that’s like nothing else. And if you don’t have fresh ginger, powdered works too — though you will sacrifice some fresh flavor. (For a vegetarian alternative, see below.)
I stared into the refrigerator during the recent cold spell and thought to myself, “I have nothing in the house.”
It’s been a tough year for Basil, the upscale pizzeria turned Mediterranean restaurant that credits itself with bringing Kosher fine dining to trendy Crown Heights. First they sued a competing pizza restaurant, Calabria, for violating the halachic law of “hasagat givul,” which literally means boundary infringement and refers to unfair business competition that seeks to harm. Then they were stripped of their kashrut certification in what Basil called “a big misunderstanding.” Now they’ve been reborn as a Mediterranean restaurant. Are they kowtowing to Calabria, allowing Calabria to retain the stranglehold it has on the niche world of Crown Heights Kosher pizza? Is the reopening also a rebranding, now that vocal manager Clara Perez has left her post? Does the Jewish world really need another kosher Mediterranean joint? In the kill or be killed world of New York restauranteurs, can the food triumph?