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Manhattan Fish



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Ken Robbins | Jan 10, 2002 08:40 AM

Has an era ended? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PICKLE PLACE AT 35 ESSEX STREET? Was it Guss Pickles? Was it Hollander Pickles? The name didn’t matter. Where will I get my whole-sour pickles and sour tomatoes? Who will ship them to me in the culinary wilderness where no one has heard of a bialy and there are stores called ‘Whatsa Bagel?’
This follows the loss of gefilte fish from Ratner’s. When my sons were at Columbia University 1988-96, they would carry it on the plane despite the smell and disapproval of other passengers. Ratner’s would not ship it and I am rarely in New York. Then I came to Ratner’s and was learned they were closing and would reopen later. I didn’t dare peek to see if they had re-opened when I came recently to see avant-garde jazz music around the corner,
The music was in a former kosher winery but that wine was horrible unlike the pickles & gefilte fish which were superb. Beside the music venue Tonic also featured David Krakauer and other klezmer greats!.
I read recently that Meyer Lansky used to come to Ratner’s for his pastrami sandwiches, Unless this was bootleg meat in a kosher dairy restaurant, that never happened. The writer must have been referring to Lansky’s Lounge. Such misinformation is regrettable but pales in import to lack of knowledge about how to make a good whole-sour pickle or that great peasant fish mousse, gefilte fish
Best wishes,
Kenneth Robbins

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