Something there is about high-end kosher restaurants and gentile chefs. When the very pricey Wall Street Grill opened in 2019, it announced that its chef was Joey Paulino, an Italian-American who had appeared on “Top Chef.” Ditto for the elegant UN Plaza Grill, which since its inception in 2017 has had a non-Jew at the helm.
Until now. The Grill announced this week that its new culinary director is Argentina-born Ines Chattas, who is not only Jewish but the first woman to oversee the restaurant’s menus. Chattas is a big fan of revisiting classics to bring them more up-to-date, not to mention more eclectic — this owing in part to her multi-cultural roots: She is part Lebanese, Georgian, and Italian.
The restaurant continues to feature steaks and chops as its chief stock in trade, but the menu now includes the likes of spiced kefta meatballs in a tomato-roasted garlic sauce with accents of parsley, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon, and a mezze platter.
You can still order a center-cut ribeye, but the grill items have been beefed up to include braised boneless short ribs sauced with red wine, balsamic vinegar, and prunes. A roasted half duck arrives in a sauce of apricot and lemon zest, with herbed cous cous.
Chattas’s menu will launch the week of Nov. 28 — timed to showcase such Hanukkah specials as balsamic-tomato braised brisket and potato pancakes with apple-onion chutney.
UN Plaza Grill, 845 Un Plaza (First Ave. at 47th St.), 212-223-1801.