“I was in line at Russ & Daughters thinking ‘this is ridiculous,’” he said. Within a year, the former chef opened his appetizing store and recently moved to a larger space on Court St. It specializes in classic appetizing foods as well as some specially sourced items like a smoked whitefish from Door County, Wisconsin. “It blows everything else that’s available [in NYC appetizing stores] away,” he said.
Other openings focused on Jewish cuisine include bakery and restaurant Sadelle’s, the aforementioned Russ & Daughters Café, and newcomer Baz Bagel.
“There’s a small group of us making it cool again, I think,” Shelsky said. “Not really reinventing the wheel, but we’re sourcing better ingredients, better products, and going back to the way it was before mass food.”
Back at Russ & Daughters, Tupper was careful to shy away from words like “resurgence” when discussing appetizing stores. “Resurgence would have to be more than, like, three places. Maybe there’s a resurgence in Jewish food. But appetizing is important to New York City. It’s a New York story, an immigrant story."
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Chris M. Walsh is a freelance writer for Thrillist, and was previously an editor at Zagat and Billboard. He ate exactly 3,000 bagels while reporting this story. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.