No matter which holiday you celebrate, it’s a delicious year for a Jewish-style Christmas in Brooklyn. The Hanukkah party is about to get rolling with brisket and latkes, and the Chinese feasts start kicking on the 23rd. We’ve got all the info you need to reserve a table or place a catering order before all the best seats and eats sell out.
Have Yourself a Merry Jewish Christmas
Gertie’s is throwing a Hanukkah dinner party featuring briskets, pickles, snacks, donuts, and a roving latke cart on December 20th from 6pm to 9pm. If you’d rather hang out at home, Shelsky’s has all your Hanukkah needs ready for pick-up, from latkes to herring fillets to gooey coconut macaroons to fancy dark chocolate gelt—just be sure to place big orders 48 hours in advance.
While you’re booking up your pre-Christmas activities, consider the all-day dim sum brunch at Edith’s, where they’re putting a their signature Jewish comfort food spin on Chinese fare starting at 10am on December 23rd. Dishes include smoked lamb ribs with sweet and sour glaze and custard buns with salted egg saffron custard. Later that evening, from 8 to midnight, Edith’s is partnering with Land to Sea for cocktails and a night of Mahjong.
If you’re just looking for some fun-to-eat Chinese fare on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, King’s County Imperial will be open on December 24 from 5:30-9:30pm and on the 25th from 12:30-10:30pm. Walk-ins our welcome, but I’d advise booking early, since reservations are limited and this place is often packed. Don’t forget to order my favorite dish, the crispy Sichuan oyster mushrooms.
The always-incredible Pecking House will also be open for business-as-usual on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The don’t take reservations, so if you’d prefer to bring home enough Sichuan-seasoned Southern-fried chicken and addictive butter bean salad to feed a crowd, place an order on their catering page with 48 hours notice before pick-up.
Meanwhile, Mile End Delicatessen will be serving their traditional Jewish Christmas Chinese feast starting at 1:00 pm on Christmas day. Tickets are $70 and include a banquet of Chinese dishes with a Jewish-Candian twist. Expect scallion pancakes latkes and chunks of corned beef from Mile End’s classic Reuben finding their way into fried rice.
Finally, Shalom Japan, known for their Japanese-meets-Jewish cuisine, is celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas day by serving a $75 prix fixe menu with dining options that include a Wagyu beef hot pot and chocolate-banana challah bread pudding with whiskey caramel and crème fraiche.
The best things I ate in 2022
In the spirit of year-end lists, I’ve narrowed down my favorite dishes, in no particular order. I could go back for more and more of every one of these bites:
1. Sashimi with yuzu kosho, a salty, citrusy fermented chile paste that replaces wasabi at Rule of Thirds
2. The messy Guadalajaran torta ahogada, which translates to “drowned sandwich,” at Cruz del Sur
3. The pan-head ramen with its ginger-spiked pork tonkatsu and miso broth, from Karazishi Botan
4. The chickpea chaat with pomegranate, tamarind, and cilantro at Corner Delhi, followed by their 5-spice salmon
5. The eggs in hell pizza with bacon and chili oil at Pizza Moto
6. The incredible dac biet Vietnamese-American tasting menu at Falansai
7. Fattat Jaj, a layered chicken dish that hits all the right notes at Al Badawi
8. The clam slice at F&F (and I love their vegetarian Partanna pie, too)
9. The batter-fried and stuffed olives at Glasserie, which pair really well with their cocktails
10. Oysters with chili oil and Meyer lemon mignonette at Bar Bête, where I love everything on the menu but never skip this
More Brooklyn restaurant news
Cafe Cotton Bean, a Crown Heights coffee shop with a Japanese-leaning menu, has just opened a second location at 372 Sackett Street (between Smith Street and Hoyt Street) in Carroll Gardens.
Good Thanks, a Lower East Side all-day cafe, opened a second outpost in Williamsburg (74 Graham Avenue, near Skillman Avenue), and the new spot just got a liquor license. I’m intrigued by their bizarrely appetizing blue spirulina bowl and can’t see what pops up on their booze menu this weekend and their dinner service, which starts next week.
House, an 8-seat Japanese-French restaurant inside Greenpoint’s 50 Norman (between Guernsey Street and Dobbin Street) is now serving 7 to 9-course tasting menu dinners from Tokyo chef Yuji Tani.
Bobbi’s Italian Beef has moved from a sandwich counter at Dekalb Market Hall to 228 Smith Street (between Douglass Street and Butler Street), coming to the rescue of anyone in Cobble Hill who has been craving a hot Italian beef ever since they finished binging The Bear. They’ve also got Chicago dogs, pan pizzas, a handful of tables, bar seating at the window, and sports on the TVs.
JuneShine, a hard kombucha tap room and cocktail bar, has just opened at 98 Berry Street (at 8th Street) in Williamsburg. Their booch flavors include Midnight Painkiller, a pinepple-coconut-orange spin on the classic painkiller tiki drink. It involves activated charcoal and nutmeg, has a 6% ABV, and pours purple. I mean, I’d try anything once.
In sadder news, the Gowanus location of Pig Beach is closing on December 30th. As part of the Gowanus rezoning project, their home of 8 years was sold to a Brooklyn developer. They are seeking a new location in Brooklyn, will keep the fires burning at Pig Beach Queens and Pig Beach Palm Beach, and are in the process of opening Pig Beach Louisville.