A Family Affair

Grandpa's favorite dinner is ours, too

Michael Siegel's forebears must be serious food lovers.

The chef-owner of Shorty Goldstein's named the place after his great-grandmother, leaving his position as Betelnut's chef de cuisine last winter to pursuing the same New Deli vision that has inspired chefs and diners across the country. House-cured meats, small-batch pickles, matzah brei: all there.

Siegel's three-week-old restaurant, which has been besieged by lunchtime lines since opening day, is still finding its voice. And its signature house-cured pastrami sandwich ($12), mustard-smeared rye framing a few thick slices of smoky, peppery beef, is on the sparse side of petite.

But the section of the menu that we zeroed in on was titled "Zadie's Favorites." Any dish that met Grandpa's approval, we had to try.

Zadie's favorite prakas ($14) would do any ancestor proud. Three pale-green parcels of cabbage, the leaves braised until satiny but with the shadow of a crunch still left in them, were stuffed with a tender mass of beef. The chunky tomato, leek and carrot sauce heaped on them was amped up with sugar and vinegar in equal measure.

It didn't take a grandmotherly reminder for us to finish the mashed potatoes and broccolini on the plate.