Aug 1, 2013
A Night for the Palate, Kidney
Photos: Levi Percia

Overlooking the Manhattan skyline, guests enjoyed delectable entrees, fine wine and hand-rolled cigars at a benefit that competed over their attention.

By COLlive reporter
Photos by Levi Percia

It's not easy getting people's minds off food. Never mind some of the most decadent looking and tasting delicacies and entrees, served with an almost unlimited supply of fine wine and cigars, at the Tribeca Rooftops in Lower Manhattan.

"How do you compete with a buffet? It's impossible!" commented comedian Elon Gold, hopelessly trying to distract the crowd from what New York and New Jersey's top Kosher restaurants were showcasing at the 2013 Herzog Food & Wine tasting event.

An assortment of deli cuts and even chicken liver were offered by Gourmet Glatt, T-Fusion Steakhouse and Guttman's Catering. Mexican restaurant Kosher Taco from Lakewood, NJ, presented a taco dish, even though their slogan is "We are not just tacos."

Some trendy appetizers were served by Etc. Steakhouse of Teaneck, NJ, with a cube of watermelon topped with beef carpaccio and avocado mousse. Or the miniature pizza slice with seared tuna and diced peppers from the Reserve Sushi & Steakhouse Restaurant, also from Lakewood, NJ.

And then there was the aroma hailing from the stand of Jack's Gourmet Sausages & Deli Meats where they were grilling their newest concoction: burgers made with smoky and salty dry-cured beef that's meant to taste like "the real thing." "We use beef belly instead of the pork belly," co-founder Alan Broner was heard explaining.

Another food establishment from Crown Heights, Basil Pizza & Wine Bar was a little more risque with their offerings, preparing chilled cantaloupe shooters with espolette and smoked salt. And then a curby pickle, with beet and ginger cured artic char, charmoula or tuna, avocado mousse, grilled plum and jalapeno.

And then there were top shelf wines from Herzog Winery, barbecued meats, ice cream, an assortment of pastries, and hand rolled cigars dipped in a mixture of honey and scotch before being lit up in the summer breeze against the backdrop of New York City's magnificent skyline.

So it was quite understandable that the talented Los Angeles comedian found it all a challenge. "No one's listening," Gold said as the line-up of chairs in front of him were filling up very slowly. "This is the weirdest show I've done in my life."

But the truth is, the event was very much about the cause: the Renewal nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting people suffering from various forms of kidney disease. Throughout the event space large banners told the stories of some of the 219 lives that were saved in the last 7 years.

"If you see a donor, hug a donor," stated New York City Councilman David Greenfield, expressing the gratitude that was given to the selfless and kind-hearted kidney donors that attended the event which was entertained by Shloimy Gertner.

In fact, they got so much attention that the organization's very first kidney donor told that he removed his name tag so he can mingle freely. Renewal's President Sendy Orenstein urged him to put it back on.

"We started out with 2 kidneys a year and we grew to facilitating one transplant approximately every 10 days," Orenstein later said. "Tonight you see how a Chabadnik helps a Young Israel person and a Satmar gives life to a Sephardic person."

Indeed, where the chessed knows no bounds so does the food, apparently.

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Opinions and Comments
What a kiddish Hashem and what a presentation. Excellent Excellent work done by all the volunteers. Everyone will benefit from this. Good going.
(8/2/2013 9:15:51 AM)
A new registree & hopefully, donor
Go Zelda Rotenburg! You inspire me!!
(8/2/2013 9:45:30 AM)
Berel & Miriam
U look fab.!!!
(8/2/2013 10:20:10 AM)
to #2
Your comment hit home because it was Zelda who also inspired me to donate when I read her story on this very website during the Aseres Yemei Teshuva of this year 5773. I was fortunate to be the 201'st transplant Renewal facilitated so these pictures make me happy seeing familiar faces. I wish you great hatzlacha as you look into kidney donation. What a kidney recipient receives is obvious- his or her life back. What a kidney donor receives is not necessarily as obvious - but it's also very real- an ever present indescribable spiritual high that never goes away. As you're going through the process there will be many obstacles. You might encounter well-intended opposition from those close to you. You'll be told repeatedly from your medical team you can still back out at any time. If you decide (or have decided already) this is indeed the right choice for you, to become a kidney donor, then stay strong and be of good courage "chazak v'amatz." Speak to Hashem Yisborach. Go to tzadikim for encouragement, advice, and brachos. If you're Lubavitch, go to the Ohel and write a pan about this .... even if you're not, that's still a good idea :). May Hashem guide you and may all the cholim of our people be healed!
(8/2/2013 11:17:56 AM)
Aron and Dini
Coolest couple ever!!!

(8/3/2013 8:03:28 PM)
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