By: Shaina Wizov Contributing Writer
Shellfish, pork and dairy — three things you will not find within the walls of Ditmas, a new venture from Top Chef alum and restaurateur Alex Reznik, whose original location of the restaurant is in LA. Reznik has opened up his Kosher, chophouse concept in West Boca, appropriately so, since this is a very heavily Jewish area with a lot of Kosher law-abiding residents. You will find an entire section devoted to steak and plenty of meat-heavy dishes, but those who keep Kosher can rest easy, as the beef used is of course, only cut from the front of the animal.
The restaurant is named for Ditmas Avenue, where chef/owner Reznik grew up in Brooklyn, New York. It’s only fitting for a restaurant named after a New York City street to open up in Boca Raton, a city that’s often referred to as another borough of NYC. The restaurant opened in December 2016 just in time to welcome in the new year with a bang — and hopes of impressing guests with their modern take on Kosher cooking.
You might be skeptical of dining without the promise of cheese or bacon (gasp!), but after a night at Ditmas, you’ll have successfully done so, and still be satisfied. Executive Chef Aaron Goldberg takes the reigns in the kitchen and has a dedicated team behind him to help along the way. Though some ingredients on the menu may change daily based on what is available, here is an idea of what you can expect.
The menu is quirky and non-traditional with things like “Dirty Pico Tacos,” “Mystery Meat Flatbread” and the “Obligatory Caesar” — which is anything but. Instead of romaine hearts and anchovies, you’ll find hearty kale and lemon confit, diced apples, horseradish “snow,” and garlic croutons.
French fry lovers will go crazy over the Tony Fries, a crazy concoction of flavors that will at first confuse you, but keep you going back for fry after fry, until you realize you’ve devoured the entire thing and thoroughly enjoyed every bite. The flavors are Asian meets Mexico, with pico and guacamole, Sriracha and togarashi, and a citrus aioli to add a pop. All of that is piled on to perfectly crispy French fries that have also been topped with shredded macacha chicken (dried meat that has been rehydrated). It’s a sight to be seen — and a dish to be eaten.
The Big Hawaiian Poke is another interesting thing you’ll find at Ditmas. Have you ever had smoked tuna? At Ditmas, you will. The poke is presented in a mason jar, allowing the smoke to completely infuse the tuna with its intense flavor and aroma. The best part is the crispy puffed black rice, which gives the dish a really cool textural element. The smokiness is met with even more big, bold flavor: sweet soy, avocado and orange segments.
There is a lot to choose from when it comes to entrees. Expect Chef Aaron’s out-of-the-box creations like short rib with butternut squash polenta, pickled Fresno chilis, crispy leeks and shaved horseradish, or the pan-roasted salmon with forbidden black rice and pear slaw.
Dairy-free sweets are becoming very mainstream as more and more people adopt vegan diets, but at Ditmas, dessert is taken to a whole new level. You’d never know there was no butter or milk in the insanely moist olive oil carrot cake. The crumb was so tender, the flavor so pronounced, and the citrus whipped cream is good enough to eat by the spoonful. Moving along, chocoholics will have no problem satisfying their sweet tooth with the chocolate chip brownie loaded with caramel sauce and marshmallow. There is no turning back once you’ve dug your fork into this thick brownie. The inside is rich and dense, lined with perfectly crisp edges. And if you thought your chocolate-loving heart had enough, you’re wrong. The chocolate-avocado mousse with salted caramel custard, toasted marshmallow fluff and graham cracker crumble will give you goosebumps.
Ditmas is located at 21077 Powerline Road in Boca Raton. For more information about the restaurant, visit ditmasboca.com.