‘Jew-ish’ Bistro Opens in Prospect Heights

Image: Gertrudes

If you were wondering whether the word Jew-ish as it appears in the headline (i.e., with a hyphen) is a typo, I wish I could say it was. Sadly, it is a coinage that traces its origins to one of the many fabrications in the published biography of disgraced Rep.-elect George Santos — namely his claim that he is Jewish. Santos told the New York Post when confronted with that lie last December, “I never claimed to be Jewish. I am Catholic. Because I learned my maternal family had a Jewish background I said I was ‘Jew-ish.’”

Anyway, that the term has achieved some degree of permanence is evident from its use by Gertrudes, a spanking new eatery in Prospect Heights that self-identifies as “a neighborhood bar & restaurant, inspired by our shared love for iconic New York City restaurants, Jew-ish cuisine and the vibrant atmosphere found in European bistros.” [Emphasis added] (Gertrudes is run by the folks behind Gertie, a diner in Williamsburg, which also serves “Jew-ish” food.)

The menu at Gertrudes seamlessly merges Gallic bistro fare with Jew-ish (eastern European really) cooking. Warm challah rolls come not with schmaltz but with “duck butter.” Raw oysters are served up in the company of smoked fish. Beef tongue is partnered with a classic French persillade, redolent of parsley and garlic.

The default accompaniment for your dill pickle-brined roasted half chicken is a generous mound of frites, but you have the option of swapping out the fries for a quartet of latkes.

Gertrudes, 605 Carlton Avenue (at St. Marks Pl.), Brooklyn.