Last month we posed the question: can this pop-up make kosher food sexy?
Turns out, kosher food can be seriously sexy.
First, start with the candlelit beauty of The Foundry in Long Island City, under the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge, where father-son duo Dan and Yair Lenchner host these roughly-monthly pop-up dinners. Add a luxurious six-course Italian spring menu – think poached egg with parmesan foam, light-as-air gnudi with truffles, and hand-made pasta with morels and peas – inspired by Yair’s recent culinary study trip to Italy, with sophisticated wine pairings (turns out, kosher wine doesn’t have to be sickly sweet).
Their first kosher pop-up in October attracted 30 diners; today, over 100. If this is kosher, then we’re converted.
Chef Dan Lenchner and his son, Yair, are putting the sexy back into kosher food. Well, that would imply that kosher food was at one point sexy, and who would argue that it ever was? And so Dan, owner of Manna Catering, has opened the first kosher pop-up restaurant in The Foundry, a stunning venue in Long Island City, to show that kosher food is as innovative and delicious as any other cuisine.
A brief culinary history on the father-son duo: Dan has been catering for 30 years. Yair is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute and is currently a line cook at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Mark. This month’s theme at the pop-up is Spring Italian, and Yair is spending a month in Italy researching the menu.
I chatted with Dan about why he came up with the idea of a kosher pop-up, and how he plans to make kosher food sexy.