Who would ever think that the cold, green, wet coast of America’s Pacific Northwest would one day become a fertile breeding ground for innovative and delicious Jewish delis?
Probably no one from the region, or the Midwest, or especially the Northeast, and that doesn’t even say anything about the naysayers in New York. “What the hell do they know about deli over there?” they taunted, “maybe smoked salmon, but not real deli.”
There were pioneers for sure: Saul’s in Berkeley, David’s, and Miller’s, and Moishe’s Pippic in San Francisco, Rose’s in Portland, and others in Seattle. But the change came with Kenny and Zuke’s in 2007. The Portland upstart, which began as a pastrami station at a farmer’s market, changed the way people thought about deli. It took deli outside the Jewish community and made it a cuisine to be respected.
Just a few days ago, I happily reported on the continuing of that tradition with the soon to open Wise Sons Delicatessen in San Francisco. And now, not to be outdone, comes Seattle.
Stopsky’s Delicatessen is opening in May just outside Seattle (Mercer Island, to be precise). It’s being run by Lara Jeff Sanderson, with a kitchen helmed by chef Robin Leventhal (she of Season 6 Top Chef) and breads by Columbia City Bakery founder Andrew Meltzer. Here’s what they are promising:
Stopsky’s will celebrate and serve Jewish dishes from around the world. Classics items like pastrami, corned beef, matzoh ball soup, kreplach and kugel, rye bread, challah, and rugelach can be enjoyed either in the restaurant or at home. The majority of these products will be made in-house using locally sourced, sustainably grown, organic ingredients whenever possible. We call our approach “Tradition, Updated.”
The restaurant will provide seating for 36, and be open initially for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. Dinner will be added later this year. In addition to dining in, patrons will be able to order many of the menu items for take-out, or purchase a wide variety of specially selected products in the retail section. Stopky’s will also feature the exclusive, artisanal espresso.