Jewish Dining in NYC
by Julie Besonen, 03/25/2014
Photo: Alexander Thompson
Sammy's Roumanian Steak House
157 Chrystie St., 212-673-0330, Lower East Side, Manhattan
The Borscht Belt comes to the Lower East Side at this old school Jewish steak house with a troubadour who goes by the name Dani Luv. With "Hava Nagila" he can get even the stiffest goys and shiksas dancing the hora between courses of chopped liver and skirt steak. Stuffed cabbage, karnatzlack (grilled garlic sausage) and broiled, meaty half chicken are other soul food essentials here. Diners at tables celebrating birthdays and bar mitzvahs tend to be from New Rochelle or New Jersey, and they live it up with icy vodka and golden schmaltz smeared on rye bread. Parents kicking up their heels in a conga line typically embarrass their children, who bury their faces in cell phones and pretend it's not happening. There is more sedate seating upstairs, but the hilarious nightly party is always in the fluorescent-lit basement space plastered with business cards. Take note: Dani Luv is off on Mondays.