It becomes (re)starting the night, and the area becomes packed. The Bridge, a Turkish and Mediterranean eating place that was a fixture in Highland Park for years, had ended up kosher, and the Jewish community came out in large numbers on Saturday night, February nine, to pattern the restaurant’s exclusive services.
The restaurant, now underneath the supervision of the Va’ad HaRabbanim of Raritan Valley, advertises that it could seat 95 human beings. Families and couples of diverse a long time occupied all of the tables on opening night.
Reflecting the eating place’s identification, all section headings and maximum dishes on the menu are listed with their Turkish and English names. Customers can see meals they understand, together with hummus, babaganoush, filled grape leaves, salmon, rice, and shakshuka, and dishes that are probably new to them, including doner kebab (a shawarma gyro marinated with genuine clean Turkish herbs), murder (deep-fried zucchini pancakes), karniyarik (eggplants full of ground meat, onions, peppers, herbs, and tomatoes) and lots extra. Many offerings are gluten-loose or vegan. All orders are served with complimentary baked-on-the-premises pide bread.
The owner/operator of The Bridge, Sam Eriske, was born and raised in Kuzguncuk, a metropolis of approximately 8,000 people in Istanbul, Turkey. He arrived inside the U.S. In 1989 and to start with pursued a profession in style. Yet he located himself drawn to meals provider, operating first in a deli in 1998 after shopping a building in Long Branch and renovating it to residence a restaurant. The Bridge opened in 2010 and moved to Highland Park in 2015 after Hurricane Sandy.
Asked why he determined to undergo the first-rate change and transform his nicely-regarded eating place to emerge as kosher, Eriske stated that he’d heard from many Jewish pals in both Deal and the Highland Park/Edison community that a real Turkish eating place that changed into kosher would have several attraction in the vicinity. He carried out weeks of studies, traveling dozen kosher eating places at some stage in the kingdom, and determined that none presented the variety of menu options, the constancy to conventional recipes, and the blends of seasoning that The Bridge had mastered.
Eriske associated that transforming an existing restaurant into a kosher facility isn’t any easy method. Kashering the kitchen took close to a week. He needed to replace all of the kitchen equipment and all of the plates. He also had to rent a complete-time mashgiach; on that rating, he accurately selected someone with a protracted history of communal involvement inside the frum network, Michael Garber.
Community contributors who came to the eating place for its first night time as a kosher status quo have been thrilled with their meals. Rachel and Joseph David sampled izgara kofte (grilled lamb patties), zucchini, and eggplant in tomato sauce, hummus, and salad. Rachel stated, “This is an outstanding area for a Saturday night! The meals turned into splendid. And the bread turned into truly fresh and delicious.”
Michael and Shari Gordon and their eldest daughter Miryam had the bird shish kabob, the chook chops, and the zucchini pancakes. Michael raved approximately the food, saying, “It became all, in reality, accurate, fresh, wet and with only a little kick from the flavoring. The presentation became very appealing.
And that bread changed into extraordinary!” Miryam brought, “The meals were simply delicious, and I turned into impressed with the unusual seasoning: it’s nuanced and tasteful.” The own family introduced that they were thrilled to help welcome a new restaurant to the network.
Marla Rottenstreich came along with her oldest daughter Mayana and her son Nati. Mayana shared, “Everything became definitely right and a bit highly spiced”; she changed into pleased that her mother took her and her brother to strive for something new. Marla attempted a vegetable dish and mentioned that it turned into “very flavorful.”
Members of the va’ad praised the newly kosher restaurant and what it manner to the community.
“To transform The Bridge into a kosher eating place required a robust cooperative effort between the rabbis of the Vaad, Sam Ethem Eriske, and his workforce, “ stated Rabbi Yaakov Luban, spiritual leader of Congregation Ohr Torah in Edison and executive rabbinic coordinator at the Orthodox Union.
“In reality, the eating place turned into closed for nearly an entire week to permit for cleansing, koshering, and changing the stock. This became similarly to hours of initial planning and dialogue over a protracted period of time.”
“Judging from the preliminary flip-out, the network could be very excited about this new kosher eatery. To my expertise, The Bridge is the most effective kosher Turkish restaurant inside the location, and together with the other nearby institutions, our area now offers an excellent selection of kosher dining options.”