Most Manhattan kosher restaurants are currently offering a special menu – called The Nine Days Menu – which includes fish, pasta and vegetarian options, replacing meat and chicken dishes of the meat restaurant’s regular menu. Glatt kosher restaurants in Manhattan and other places in the world that usually serve kosher meat and wine create this Nine Days Menu in order not to shut down the business for nine days, since eating meat and drinking wine during these nine days is not permitted according to Jewish laws and customs.
However, as Talia’s Steakhouse has been popular among both Jews and non-Jews since the day it opened, they will be offering both their regular menu in addition to the Nine Days Menu during this time – which goes until July 30.
The Nine Days take place during the first nine days of the Jewish calendar month, called Av, which usually fall out around July or August. It is a religious observance and according to the Talmud, “When Av begins, we diminish rejoicing” (Talmud, Taanit 26b). The three weeks prior to the fast day of Tisha B’Av, which begins on the evening of July 29 and ends on the evening of July 30 – are considered a period of mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple. The dates from July 21 until July 30 are named The Nine Days, in which heavier mourning related restrictions are imposed by Jewish law.
The fighting in Jerusalem lasted for three weeks until Tisha B’Av, when the Temple was completely destroyed. Both the first and second Temples were destroyed on Tisha B’av. The first Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C.E. by the Babylonians and the second Temple by the Romans in 70 B.C.E. These tragic events have been mourned throughout Jewish history and observed by fasting on the ninth day of Av. We mourn both the loss of the Land and the spiritual center of Jewish life by being in exile.
In keeping with the diminished enjoyment, the last nine days of the three weeks are more stringent with the mourning aspect, including refraining from haircuts, shaving, listening to music, eating meat, and any other entertaining activities. During this period of time, Orthodox Jews mostly eat dairy, fish or parve products, refraining themselves from meat and wine. For NYC kosher restaurants, this may pose a bit of a problem, especially if you are a kosher steakhouse in Manhattan. As a kosher restaurant, what can be done to lure clientele who are forbidden from eating any meat for nine days (excluding the Sabbath)?
For those who observe the restrictions of the Nine Days, Talia’s Steakhouse, an Upper West Side kosher restaurant located at 668 Amsterdam (between 92nd and 93rd Streets), has been accommodating guests for over eighteen years with a unique and special Nine Days menu which contains a large selection of gourmet fish, pasta and vegetarian dishes. Until the end of the month, Talia’s Steakhouse will become Talia’s Fishhouse.
Just because meat is prohibited during The Nine Days does not mean that kosher steak houses need to totally shut their doors for this period of time. The Sephardic Jews’ custom is to not eat meat and drink wine only from the Sunday before Tisha B’av. Many Yemenite Jews only refrain from meat starting the day before. Furthermore, meat and wine are permitted on Shabbat and for seudat mitzvah, such as brit milah, and one may have meat during these days if required for health purposes, such as an anemic person, pregnant woman or someone who just gave birth. It is always wise to ask your Rabbi about the laws and customs during this period if you have any doubts.
A kosher joint for all.
Since the restaurant opened in 2002, Talia’s Steakhouse has continuously reinvented the strictly Glatt kosher restaurant as a hip, modern place, where everyone will feel welcome: from Chabad and Satmer Chasidim to Modern Orthodox, secular Jews, non-Jewish customers and all other ethnic groups, Talia’s has something for everyone. With so many repeat customers and fans, it’s no wonder that Talia’s Steakhouse has built such a “Haute” reputation. It is also the only Glatt Kosher meat restaurant that it is open for prepaid Shabbat and Jewish holidays & events dinners.
Talia’s appeal reaches far beyond its Upper West Side location.
Many flock to the kosher eatery for its gourmet selections of prime rib, filet mignon, duck, whole branzino, homemade hummus, Belgian waffles, shakshouka, non-dairy tofu cheeseburgers and more.
Talia’s is also an excellent date night option and is very popular among singles. Enjoy the romantic atmosphere with dimly-lit candles and fresh roses on each table!
Before the pandemic began, Talia’s hosted many events for singles. These are currently on pause, but will resume once it is safe and NYC allows indoor dining.
Talia’s is also a great place to enjoy live music, which will resume in the outdoor cafe on July 31!
Talia’s During COVID-19
Talia’s Steakhouse has always gone above and beyond to ensure safe and proper food handling practices; during these times, they have taken it even further. In addition to strictly abiding by the food safety standards set by the CDC, FDA and DOH, they have also limited Talia’s kitchen to only five individuals: Chef Andrew Blake Swersky (Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, France), the owner, Mr. Ephraim (Effie) Nagar and his three sons, Ben, Adam, and Daniel.
While Talia’s Steakhouse has been severely impacted from COVID-19 – seeing sales reduced by 87% and being forced to reduce its staff by 80% – they have continued to provide meals to nurses, doctors and other busy health care busy professionals who have not had the time to shop and cook for themselves.
Talia’s has also prepared donated food to the 20th Precinct to show them appreciation for keeping the neighborhood safe. Read more about that here!
When Nagar opened the restaurant in 2002, he decided to name it in memory of his beloved daughter, who sadly passed away from brain cancer. He built the restaurant to be a center for constructive gatherings, quality kosher food, and happy memories. He has been through tough times, but managed to turn a tragedy into something positive for the community.
Today brings the new challenge of surviving through the pandemic – something every restaurant owner is struggling with. But with everything Nagar has gone through, he will persevere – and so will Talia’s Steakhouse.
“We look forward to continuing this family effort during this difficult time to serve the needs of Talia’s most cherished community. May you and your loved ones stay safe and well during these challenging times.”
Talia’s Steakhouse is currently open for outdoor dining from 4-11pm.