Greenwich and Delancey: A return to old world haute Jewish cuisine

Did you know there’s a kosher deli in Greenwich? Greenwich & Delancey opened in Cos Cob during the height of the pandemic.

While many people haven’t noticed or visited this hidden gem, word of mouth has spread and on a recent midweek visit every seat was taken at lunchtime.

In fact, in Greenwich, the word “deli” usually brings to mind a favorite sandwich for lunch, but Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen is the perfect place to sit down and enjoy a hot meal at lunch or dinner.

Chef David Teyf, a restaurateur and caterer at Madison & Park Hospitality Group, which owns a second Greenwich & Delancey location at 50 West Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, explained that when he moved from New York City When he arrived in Greenwich, he was surprised by the lack of restaurants. Jewish restaurant in town.

In short, Teff set out to fill a void.

The menu at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen in Cos Cob is kosher and overseen by a rabbi. December 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Chef Teff, who also owns Lox, a café inside the Museum of Jewish Heritage near Battery Park, said his family roots are in Minsk, Belarus, where he was born.

“We came to the United States when I was five and lived in Atlanta, Georgia, for a few years,” he said. “My parents were shocked by Wonder Bread. We were used to old-school quality bread, and suddenly, in 1979, there was nothing but Wonder Bread.”

A few years later, the Teff family moved to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, where they were delighted to find specialty foods such as fresh bread and herring, and of course, an entire Russian-speaking community.

Tef said he has fond memories of his grandfather.

“He was an excellent cook,” Teff recalled. “We offer Minsk Matza Babka Bites as a tribute to my grandfather.”

Teif said that as early as the 1920s, in Minsk, his grandparents served matzah to the Jewish community.

Taifu said his grandfather risked his life to run the Mazar factory, given the circumstances.

“The local police and the government allowed it, but of course there were pogroms and secret police, and then of course the war started.”

“Of course baking is in my blood,” he said.

Chef Teif jokes that his youngest memories include cleaning kitchens in Minsk at the age of three.

“I’m obsessed with clean kitchens,” he said. “Now I know why.”

Chef David Teyf and team at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. December 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Chef Teff said he is often asked to name his favorite item on the menu.

“It’s an impossible question because everything on the menu has a story, starting with the handmade dumplings,” he explains. “My mom used to make these for Shabbos every Friday. She pan-fried them and boiled them both ways.”

To enhance the quality of the dumplings and make them healthier, the dumplings are made from chicken breast.

“It’s beyond clean flavor because I only use unbleached flour, sea salt and water,” he says.

Kosher meals are served in Greenwich and Delancey, and a rabbi is present full-time to oversee compliance with all relevant procedures.

They also have a full liquor license and a spacious display case for desserts.

But oh, the pastrami!

Smoked beef is carved tableside at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. December 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Smoked beef is carved tableside at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. December 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Mini smoked smoked beef donuts are one of Chef Teyf’s creations Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. December 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Many of the dishes on the menu are Teyf’s creations, including his delicious mini pastrami donuts, finished with a drizzle of honey glaze and marinated Russian sauce.

Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen serves up shiitake deviled eggs stuffed with wild mushrooms and caramelized onions. December 6, 2023

Take a closer look at the making of shiitake deviled eggs with wild mushrooms and caramelized onions at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. December 6, 2023

While takeout is available and major food delivery apps are connected to Greenwich & Delancey, dishes like Chef Teyf’s signature pastrami (carved tableside) are an in-person experience not to be missed.

The dish is rolled out from a trolley and beautifully presented on a wooden platter. Then, the pastrami emerges from under the smoke-filled glass dome, and the meat is expertly carved as the delightful aroma wafts across the table.

Smoked beef is carved tableside at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. December 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Another obsession of Chef Teyf and his sons Elan and Tollan (both chefs) is hot dogs.

Chefs Teyf and Elan both studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris; Tolan studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Madrid.

“One of my strongest memories is going to Coney Island in Brooklyn when I was seven or eight years old and having one of the best hot dogs I’ve ever had in my life,” he recalled. “It was right on the boardwalk. There were hot dogs and dishes, but I’ll never forget always wanting a second hot dog.”

Today, the menu at Greenwich and Delancey features grilled hot dogs served with ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut. There are also franks in blankets, including a vegan version.

Grilled hot dogs at Greenwich and Delancey. December 6, 2023

In the foreground is a chicken pancake made with free-range chicken and caramelized Vidalia onions. December 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

dumpling. Chicken breast dumplings, boiled or fried, served with tofu sour cream made from dill and cucumber, topped with house vinegar. December 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

“We often hit a nerve with our guests,” Teef said when a dish of crisp, sour pickles brought back memories.

“The same goes for the music we play,” he added, noting that the songs played were, my yiddish mothersung by the Barry sisters, reminds him of his father dancing with his own mother, Tef’s grandmother, a Holocaust survivor who, sadly, was the only survivor in her family.

Tiff’s Deli is named after our town of Greenwich, of course, but it’s also named after Delancey Street, a major thoroughfare through Manhattan’s Lower East Side where hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants settled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

While many of Greenwich and Delancey’s patrons are Jewish and appreciate its kosher menu, many will remember the charming characters in the hit 1988 Jewish romantic comedy, Traveling through Delancey Izzy is her “Boobie,” and Sam the pickleman.

In fact, Greenwich & Delancy also offers a variety of delightfully crisp semi-sour and sour pickles and pickled tomatoes.

For others, the inclusion of the Shirley Temple on the drink menu, below the Classic, Dirty, Very Dirty and Pickled Martini, will evoke more Many memories.

Chef Teff said many of the guests are from Westchester, but many are locals.

“They’re not Jewish, they just love good food. Our pastrami is old-school New York style, but everything we do is a little different,” he said, pointing to his pastrami mini donuts.

He describes the menu as the result of old-school technology, which, Teff succinctly says, means “there are no shortcuts.”

No microwave. No deep fryer. Bread has no conditioners or softeners,” Teif said. “It takes hours to cook. We use good quality oils and spices. Everything is very health-conscious.”

“I call it a deli rather than a fine dining restaurant because it’s full of surprises and people leave here saying, ‘Oh, wow, I didn’t expect that to happen.'”

If you don’t have enough room, pick up some to take home from the delicious Old World Bakery. December 6, 2023

Greenwich & Delancey Deli Located at 59 East Putnam Avenue, Koskob.

Telephone. (203) 340-2733

Open for lunch and dinner. Closed Friday evening and Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath.

Chef Teff said Sunday is the busiest day. Reservations recommended.

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