DITMAS KITCHEN & COCKTAIL
Boca Raton's hottest new restaurant recently opened up. Following success with his Los Angels Ditmas location, Top chef Alex Reznik is a chef who can take a restriction and turn it into an asset is a great chef indeed. In recent years, some of the most interesting food I've had has come from chefs who limit themselves in some way: to raw food, to meat-free food, to the food of one farm, to food they've grown themselves. Such limitations can midwife great creativity. Anyone can cook a piece of salmon and throw it on a plate with spinach and mashed potatoes. A great vegan cheesecake? That's harder. While Pico-Robertson has begun to see destination restaurants in recent years, those have been disconnected from its core community. Ditmas clearly hopes to bridge that gap.
Alex Reznik, a Top Chef alum and former chef of La Seine and FigOly, has just opened a restaurant with a number of constraints. According to Reznik, Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktails is first and foremost an ode to New York — the restaurant is named for the avenue where the chef grew up in Brooklyn. It's also kosher, joining a growing number of ambitious kosher restaurants that are popping up nationally.
A kosher menu puts many things off limits. Of course there is no pork or shellfish. Ditmas also is dairy-free, negating the need for the requisite separate kitchens and sets of equipment to handle meat and dairy. The restaurant is billing itself as something of a chophouse, with a whole section of the menu dedicated to steak, but the beef is only from the front of the animal, as kosher law dictates (it's somewhat more complex than that, but in America this is how people keep kosher). A rabbi is on premises to oversee things.
Hello Foodie Friends,
Well it has been some time now since I have written a recent post (for those of you who notice). I have been a little bit on hiatus trying to acclimate myself to a more healthy eating pattern. In order to do this, I must refrain from personally eating out (and drinking wine) as much (I know, why would someone in their right mind voluntarily give these things up, especially wine, right?!?) Well fortunately, Savor Our City has a couple new contributors who have been graciously accepting the invites I have been receiving (for the most part) for these last couple months while I attain my goal weight. Here is one place I did decide to scope out personally last week........
Chef Alex Reznik
The Kiev-born, Brooklyn-raised Reznik, was working at Cafe Was, a (non-kosher) celebrity hangout in L.A., when La Seine’s owner, Laurent Maslieh, approached him about his soon-to-open kosher restaurant. Reznik, a “Top Chef DC” alum was up for the challenge.
He and the owners of La Seine hoped the appeal of La Seine would reach beyond the kosher clientele, and they’ve been able to attract both Jewish and non-Jewish customers. Reznik likes to think he achieves this by cooking great food that “just happens to be kosher.”
more about Chef Alex
HOMETOWN: Brooklyn, NY – currently resides in Hollywood, CA
PROFESSION: Executive Chef, Ivan Kane’s Café Was
CULINARY EDUCATION: AOS, Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas, NV
FAVORITE RECIPE: Avocado panna cotta with pickled ramps and tomato
Growing up in Brooklyn, the son of a first-generation European family, food was an integral part of Alex's early life. Watching his Russian mother and grandmother cooking in preparation for the daily ritual of good food and conversation set Alex on a path towards creative cooking. After travelling extensively throughout Europe, Alex found himself working in Las Vegas at the legendary, five-star restaurant, Lutecé. During his tenure as chef at multiple Bally's/Paris resort restaurants, Alex met famed nightlife entrepreneur, Ivan Kane. The two discovered a shared philosophy for great food and impeccable service. Thus was born Hollywood's Ivan Kane's Cafe Was. Alex's philosophy is to marry local, seasonal ingredients with classic French techniques to create honest, Californian bistro cuisine. Today, in the kitchen or dining room, Alex's passion for his craft is lauded by loyal customers and critics alike.