The Main Line kosher destination makes the transition to a new chef and plans its first pop-up sukkah.
A few months ago, I posted about the breakup at Citron and Rose after the consulting chef, Michael Solomonov, and his partner, Steven Cook, pulled out of their partnership with restaurant owner David Magerman. The leadership may have changed in the kitchen, but the restaurant still prides itself on its upscale kosher cuisine and Magerman is fully engaged in building his Philadelphia food empire.
There's a new catering company, Vintage Kosher, that is already planning to expand operations. And in early 2014, Magerman will open a family-friendly concept just up Montgomery Avenue from Citron and Rose called The Dairy.
Karen Nicolas, Citron and Rose's new executive chef, comes from Equinox, the lauded Washington, D.C., restaurant owned by Todd and Ellen Gray, who co-authored the cookbook, The New Jewish Table. Seasonal fare comes naturally to Nicolas, who has expanded the Citron and Rose menu from a primarily Eastern European focus to a more global sense of Jewish traditions.
I spoke with the restaurant's general manager, Ron Didner, on the phone about the restaurant's transition and if it was difficult to find someone who would be as into cooking kosher as Solomonov was. He commented that Nicolas "looked at it not like handcuffs, but as a way to learn about the gastronomic world we live in. There is a lot of collaboration, and she’s done a tremendous amount of research to learn how to complement what she does with her cuisine."
And a note to those of you who love Citron and Rose's dry-aged steak: no need to worry. It is still on the menu, but with a different — and, in my opnion, better — presentation. It is also now priced by the ounce.
Since there's no room behind Citron and Rose for a sukkah — next to the dumpsters was never an option — the restaurant reached out to Lower Merion Synagogue to service the community with a pop-up restaurant on Sept. 23 and 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. each night.
True to festival form, there will be no reservations or seating times. A la carte items such as veal schnitzel, slow-roasted brisket, vegetable kabobs and braised red cabbage will be for sale to be enjoyed in the sukkah. Food will be paired with seasonal beer and non-alcoholic beverages.
Feasting for Festivals,
The Bubbi Project