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Barney Greengrass

541 Amsterdam Ave., New York, NY - (212) 724-4707
Posted By Glenn Holzberg on 3/26/2009 4:21:00 PM
I grew up on "appetizing" in Brooklyn: my grandfather, Louis Feig, owned F & M Appetizing next to the yeshiva on 13th Avenue in Borough Park. I thought every five-year-old ate sturgeon on a bialy with cream cheese and onion. So to eat at Barney Greengrass with my wife and kids (including 21-year-old namesake Louis) was like coming home, especially since my exile to Miami in '64 (at seven).

The platters of sturgeon, nova and belly lox, and kippered salmon are sublime. The light, ephemeral sturgeon has just enough smoke to balance the sweet and unctuous yellow fat streaks; this is heaven on a warm sesame bagel. A side of herring in cream sauce and the requisite toasted buttered bialy, with plenty of hot coffee, makes the meal a throwback to older, gentler times. The pink booths are old and small but that's the only way you'd want it.

To visit with my wife and four kids is special and a bit of nostalgia, a place not to be missed when visiting NYC. Kudos to owner Gary (?) Greengrass, who we chatted up after a memorable meal. Thanks.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Rate this place
Eggs and novie: supremely savory and aromatic beyond all description. That's half a toasted bialy in the background.
"Eggs and novie: supremely savory and aromatic beyond all description. That's half a toasted bialy in the background."
Michael Stern





You can count on excellent bagels to accompany your smoked-fish platter.
"You can count on excellent bagels to accompany your smoked-fish platter."
Michael Stern


A chocolate babka from Barney Greengrass, sliced and ready to eat. On the cusp between bread and cake, it's good with coffee any time of day -- for breakfast, dessert, or a snack.
"A chocolate babka from Barney Greengrass, sliced and ready to eat. On the cusp between bread and cake, it's good with coffee any time of day -- for breakfast, dessert, or a snack."
Michael Stern


White Fish are a bit disconcerting if you're squeamish about eating things with faces.
"White Fish are a bit disconcerting if you're squeamish about eating things with faces."
Michael Stern


A chocolate mini-babka, marshaled on the dashboard and ready to eat. That's Amsterdam Avenue in the background.
"A chocolate mini-babka, marshaled on the dashboard and ready to eat. That's Amsterdam Avenue in the background."
Michael Stern


The fish that made Barney Greengrass famous: smoked sturgeon
"The fish that made Barney Greengrass famous: smoked sturgeon"
Michael Stern


As we waited for our food to be bagged, we watched the man behind the counter spread ample butter on crepes and load them with cheese: soon to be fried in a pan full of butter. Hail the blintz!
"As we waited for our food to be bagged, we watched the man behind the counter spread ample butter on crepes and load them with cheese: soon to be fried in a pan full of butter. Hail the blintz!"
Michael Stern


The center of the smoked-fish universe
"The center of the smoked-fish universe"
Michael Stern


On a Barney Greengrass Shopping bag: King of the Sea
"On a Barney Greengrass Shopping bag: King of the Sea"
Michael Stern



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