It’s been one of the summer’s unexpected surprise stories: a meticulously thought out restaurant serving Jewish food inspired by New York institution Russ & Daughters took off in Saint-Henri earlier this summer. Five weeks into its existence, expansion plans are already afoot — starting with dinner.
Owner Alex Cohen tells Eater the deli will offer evening service three nights a week — likely Saturday through Monday — starting in September. "We thought we’d be serving 20 people in a day. Now we’re up to 350 on a Saturday or Sunday," says Cohen.
A whole new menu will be on offer. At the moment, Cohen is considering a table d’hôte comprising four appetizers, four mains, and two desserts. Although matzo soup, homemade latkes, and smoked meats and fishes have become the business' lunch-time identity, Cohen plans to serve more involved, yet "clean and simple" dishes at night. Braised meats and fish dishes with a Moroccan influence will be in the offing. A traditional dafina — or slow-cooked Moroccan beef stew — is also certain to make the menu on Saturday nights with shabbat in mind.
"With a dinner crowd I’m hoping we get a more patient diner who is willing to experiment when compared to the lunch crowd. This will give me time to work the recipes, which will change all the time — even on the spot when I’m plating," says Cohen. "I want people to see the dish and recognize it, but you taste it and it’s something new. And why not? There aren’t many places to eat around here at night, anyway."
Cohen, who co-owns Arthurs with wife Raegan Steinberg, is trying to keep his feet on the ground, even if thoughts of expanding the brand have already taken foot in his mind. We could eventually see housemade pickles, slaw, peppers, and skhug for sale in jars on a shelf. And there are plans to incorporate a double-barrel smoker and grill; so meats can be smoked in-house, too. Stay tuned for updates on the launch of Arthur's dinner service this fall.