Oct 17, 2017
'Alenbi' Redefines Israeli, High-end

New in Crown Heights: Yuda Schlass of Hassid+Hipster and Israeli chef Elior Balbul are opening their trendy Alenbi restaurant.

By COLlive reporter

Forget everything you know about falafel!

A new kosher meat restaurant opening next week in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood is promising to give Israeli cuisine an ambitious and trendy overall.

Yuda Schlass says the goal of "Alenbi" is to "give Israeli food the proper respect with bold flavors, spices, and herbs that don't have to be limited to a pita."

Raised in Jerusalem, his Lubavitcher parents both have a passion for food and regularly host guests at their Shabbos table in the Old City. His father owned a kosher restaurant in Manhattan's East Village in the 60s and 70s.

"What's unique about Israeli food is that they use seasonal and fresh ingredients," Yuda Schlass says. "When you shop at the Shuk or elsewhere, what you are buying was picked a few hours earlier in the north or south of Israel. You taste the difference in the produce."

Since moving to the U.S., Schlass tried to bring an entrepreneurial approach to the food industry. He did so with the Fresh Diet delivery service, at Kitchensurfing by bringing chefs to people's homes and most recently, the Hasid+Hipster pop-up sandwich shop.

What caught his attention 2 years ago were the fine dining establishments in the U.S. that were winning awards for serving Israeli inspired cuisine but were not under a kosher supervision.

"When I told people about my plan to open a place that would redefine Israeli food, the first thing everyone asked was, "shawarma and falafel?" That's how people think of Israeli food and I know there is so much more than that," Schlass told COLlive.com.

He sought out a location on Nostrand Avenue, between Carroll and Crown streets, brought an interior designer from Israel to create a modern yet rustic feel and had the decor shipped from Israel. It also boasts an open kitchen from which all dishes will be prepared during serving hours.

The menu, he says, "elevates ages-old traditional Israeli recipes, giving them a refined modern twist," Schlass says. "There are lots of spices but the food is not necessarily spicy. We are using cumin, fennel and fresh herbs like cilantro, mint."

The menu plays with Hebrew words and American lingo, such as Selek Cured Salmon (selek for beet), the Morrocan dish "Chraime" as sashimi striped bass, Carpaccio Egel which is cured veal tongue, Tunisai - cured wild tuna, and ribeye (or as they call it in Israel, entrecote).

Two staple bread will be baked in-house: Frenna Bread served with charissa, tahini and pickled vegetables and Jerusalem Bagel often sold by Arabs outside the Old City. It will be served with crushed tomatoes, tahini, charissa, za'atar and olives.

Their most used ingredient in both savory and sweet dishes is tahini from toasted ground hulled sesame seeds. The one they used is from "Har Bracha Tahini," a family-owned business in Mount Gerizim, Nablus. "It's shipped in raw form especially for us," Schlass notes.

Perhaps one of the most visionary dishes on their menu will be the "Falafel Tartare," a combination of the popular deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas and the French serving method of raw beef or fish.

"We took a dish that everyone knows and gave a whole different twist while keeping the same ingredients and flavors," Alenbi chef Elior Balbul proudly said. "Bread, sauce, and desserts - everything is made fresh. Nothing is processed."

The "Falafel Tartare" is created out of white tahini, sumac onion, crispy chickpea, fava bean, coulis and amba, the coveted Middle East sauce. "If you close your eyes, it will taste like falafel, but not like anything you've ever had," says Schlass.

The dessert consists of "Boker Tov" is house granola with cashew (parve) yogurt and honeycomb. There is the Israeli milk-based pudding called Malabi (once again, pareve) and a dessert titled Rechov Soomsoom ("Sesame Street") made of chocolate ganache, halva, sesame brittle, blackberry and macadamia crunch.

And if you wondered, Alenbi is the name of the British military commander Edmund Allenby who entered Jerusalem on foot in 1917 out of respect for the Holy City. A popular street in Tel Aviv and the bridge between Israel and Egypt are named after him.

"We are Israel in New York," Chef Balbul adds with a smile. "The atmosphere, food and decor come together, and will make everyone feel at home."

Address: 887 Nostrand Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Phone: (347) 529-3739
Kashrus: OK Kosher
Hours: The restaurant will be open this Sunday, Oct. 22 by reservation only through alenbikitchen.com until they begin full activity.

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
when are you opening? Would it be possible to have Sheva Brochos there?
(10/17/2017 6:13:41 PM)
WHERE are we heading ?
WE eat with GOYIM and RENT to goyim ?
Who are we letting to influence our kids??
PLEASE keep a kosher envirnonment
(10/17/2017 6:19:05 PM)
Because every time I come to Crown Heights I starve, there is absolutely nothing or nowhere to eat ,O:-)
(10/17/2017 6:40:04 PM)
very cool
Fresh original concepts, looking forward to trying it out when I come in to NY. Hatzlacha Rabba!
(10/17/2017 6:58:19 PM)
very nice decor. it has a warm and inviting feel. i'm definitely coming!
(10/17/2017 7:16:03 PM)
Best of luck looks amazing will see you soon
(10/17/2017 8:08:42 PM)
Amazing can't wait too try it out best of luck.
(10/17/2017 8:25:47 PM)
I am so impressed! This looks like an upscale mainstream restaurant. THere is nothing kosher of this caliber. Would love to stage with this chef!
(10/17/2017 8:44:11 PM)
What about the price
(10/17/2017 9:21:41 PM)
BS"D what does stage with the chef mean # 8 tx
(10/17/2017 9:23:31 PM)
Taking a chef that worked for Meir Adoni and opening a kosher version of Nur.

At least it's a first in the kosher world and not another steak house.
(10/17/2017 9:54:03 PM)
It's about time. Crown Heights deserves the best, and this looks like it's just what we need. Can't wait!! Hatzlocha Rabbah.
(10/17/2017 10:02:34 PM)
WOW Definitely not the Cauldron !!
Hatzlacha Rabba !! You definitely poured your heart into every detail - I'm sure the food will reflect that. My tefilla is that you can pack everything up NOW and bring it right back to Jerusalem for Sunday's opening !!!
(10/17/2017 10:05:16 PM)
First Jewish store and first upscale store on nostrand - thank you for raising the level of this street.
(10/17/2017 10:32:52 PM)
Wow wow wow
Enuff said!!
(10/17/2017 11:18:33 PM)
Good luck Yuda!!!! Looks AMAZING!
(10/17/2017 11:20:25 PM)
(10/17/2017 11:41:57 PM)
Excited, these two chefs are amazing, I'm sure they'll be serving delicious original dishes.
Much hatzlacha
(10/17/2017 11:55:09 PM)
it's a big deal
So many Jewish people see what's out there in the non-kosher world and it bothers them. Some give in. Some have even asked ME "come on, you love food. You mean you didn't cheat even once?" It is so important that we have the best authentic food so that more Jews will keep kosher.
(10/18/2017 12:37:34 AM)
Good Hechscher
That makes a difference.
(10/18/2017 12:47:12 AM)
Amazing! Crown Heights is growing!
So happy for everyone, but before let's think a min what we won't the Rebbes Shchuna to look like? What do we want our kids to know?
The name of the restaurant can be more jewish and educational.
As well I don't think a desert by name sesame street feets in our standards.
I'm not coming to criticize or anything alike, just wanna help think together how to make crown heights be the Rebbes Shchuna.
(10/18/2017 1:42:45 AM)
Elchonon Hellinger to #2
While I understand your thoughts and concerns, the yetzer harah doesn't function that way.

I just tonight flew from Boston to Miami, you know I could have gone to amex centurion lounge and eaten food, probably amazing food, free! And drank awesome wine.. Free!

Instead I uberd home and grabbed a bottle of phenomenal kosher Spanish wine, popped it and had a late dinner.

Chasidus (while not my approach or agenda) can go both ways, doesn't chasidus say "vos men tor nisht, tor men nisht... Un vos men tor, darf men nisht" or similar.

How do you know what we need?!? The Rebbe wanted comics for kids to rival the goyim!! Who is to say what the yetzer hara of 2017 is?!?

The rebbe said "shekol maasecha yihiyu leshem shamayim" and what is the sake of heaven?!? Do you have any idea the amount of kidush hashem and Jewish pride I have going to say zak the baker where I stand amongst seemingly non Jews and non religious Jew's and they are there for awesome food and I'm there for awesome kosher food!

Mivtza kashrut means nothing to you? To build glorious mikvaot and expect kosher food to be 19th century?

I walk proud with my head held high that I drink kosher wine better than any non kosher wine of the people I know drink. And nice Scott zweisell tritan wine glasses in the restaurant BTW (I know you copied me;)

It's time to evaluate what it means to be a Jew in the world, for many it means keeping Judaism on an elevated level "ze Eli v'anveihu" for many doesn't mean a fancy Becher, it means making kiddish on amazing wine and eating world class kosher food as the rebbe always said "kol chelev l"hashem"
(10/18/2017 2:31:48 AM)
Good luck
Much hatzlocho to juda and his team ... can't wait to try it all out
(10/18/2017 5:47:08 AM)
This place looks amazing!!
But I need to know the hechsher before trying it our.
(10/18/2017 6:36:44 AM)
from Miami
so excited. Cant wait to visit. Beautiful design. Best of luck!
(10/18/2017 9:32:21 AM)
if you asking its really not for you - just stop with your nonsense comments.
ESPECIALLY, since it clearly says who the hechsher is with.

This is amazing news to Jewish Crown Heights!!!!
(10/18/2017 11:16:35 AM)
Great chef
Elior was the chef in Bluesky in Tel Aviv, he worked under one of the best chefs Meyer Adoni,
if you ate there you know what he can produce,
what is bothering anyone?
it is not on Kingston Avenue,
they have a good hechsher,
if you do not like it dont go eat there,
all this pilpulim about what the rebbe wanted are not for this,
Grow up.
(10/18/2017 11:57:41 AM)
it is under OK
(10/18/2017 5:50:19 PM)
Geographic correction
Allenby bridge is between Israel and Jordan, not Egypt
(10/18/2017 10:02:20 PM)
Is proud and so are the rest of us
(10/18/2017 10:13:54 PM)
Mazel tov Yuda!!!
Looks amazing cant wait to try this place!!
(10/18/2017 11:57:49 PM)
LInk not working
Your link above, https://www.alenbikitchen.com/, leads to a blank page.

hatzlacha rabba to the new owners for another wonderful venture that allows more people to eat in the shchuna - as opposed to going elsewhere - for great food!
Very exciting!
(10/22/2017 4:28:31 AM)
the name sake
the restaurant is named after the street in Tel-Aviv, and in honor of Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby.
(10/24/2017 5:48:53 PM)
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