In this week's Brooklyn Papers, Tina Barry gives a positive review to Mike's Kosher Steakhouse at 72 Clark Street. The article also tells us that the restaurant is now officially Kosher, not Kosher style.
Brooklyn Papers: Almost Nana's: We ordered several appetizers, and when they arrived, our table looked like a buffet in a Catskill's resort: potato pancakes with applesauce, stuffed cabbage and yes, stuffed derma. (It's a sausage of sorts, also known as "kishka" or guts. Beef casings are filled with matzo meal, "schmaltz" chicken fat, onions and seasonings, and steamed then roasted.) Is the assortment of dishes Jewish nirvana? Almost. The potato pancake was tasty and crisp but lacked strands of the vegetable that make for a pleasing texture. The stuffed cabbage was more Italian than Eastern European; it was pleasant in its own right with lots of garlic and rich, chunky tomato sauce, but I missed the tang of my mother's version.
And the derma. The derma was good. Not as triumphant as the one I recall from Neal's wedding, but that memory is clouded in nostalgia anyway. Domgjoni's is a hefty round of meaty goodness, doused with a deeply flavored brown sauce.
The sandwiches are nothing more than fresh meat piled high between rye bread, which is as it should be in this sort of restaurant. Order the brisket and the waitress will inquire, "lean or juicy," the latter meaning fattier. Go for juicy, which is barely fatty at all. Pour on the well-seasoned beef gravy, but leave enough to dip one of the crisp onion rings.
Carnivores won't be disappointed with the oyster steak. It's a shoulder cut similar to a filet mignon with a soft texture and tenderness, but has a richer flavor. The meat arrived with a thick, crusty, grilled exterior, rare and juicy inside.
When it comes to side dishes, Domgjoni's style is on the spare side. Of course, in a kosher eatery, you're not going to get the usual creamed spinach. Here, the fresh, chopped vegetable is simply sauteed. It's fine on its own, but some garlic and a little olive oil wouldn't hurt. Fries are thick, freshly cut and only so-so.