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GKRF EXCLUSIVE: Behind the Restaurant: A Story of Spirituality and Spice

 Picture this: A wise and holy man sits at the head of a large dining room table. The rolex replica watches food before him is simple and bland, but for his guests, the sky is the limit: flavorful, varied, and plenty. He is like a conductor at a grand concert. Conversation and song fill the room. Hearts are full, as well as stomachs. People connect with each other and forget about their daily concerns. It is the sort of joyfulness that makes one feel transformed. Closer to G-d, one might say.

Sitting in quiet awe at her place at the table is the holy man's granddaughter. She takes in the sights, smells, and energy. She witnesses the sense of elevation in the room.

That granddaughter grows to a woman, has a family, and works for years taking care of other people's children as a day care director. Then, one day, she is met with the opportunity to partner in a fine restaurant. With thoughts of her grandfather, she takes on the challenge. She creates an eating establishment that embodies her grandfather's philosophies.

The restaurant is The Brooklyn Steak Co. The granddaughter's name is Chaya Zaetz. And the grandfather is none other than the esteemed Baba Sali.

Baba Sali, born in 1889 on Rosh Hashanah, was a leading Moroccan Sephardic rabbi and kabbalist who was renowned for his ability to work miracles through his prayers. Although he passed in 1984, his influence and prominence has only grown. Miracles continue to occur. On his yahrzeit, or the anniversary of his passing, thousands come to his burial site in Netivot, Israel, for prayers.

One place his influence is strongly felt might otherwise be considered secular—a restaurant. But with Ms. Zaetz' focus, the Brooklyn Steak Co. is elevated to something more: a place where food is more than mere physical nourishment, but a means of lifting the soul.

Strictly kosher, each element of production is closely supervised. The chef will allow for only the highest quality kosher meat. Each dish is artfully presented to please the palate as well as the eye. The menu offerings are varied as well as unique, everything from 16 oz. Bone-In Rib Steak, to Baby Chicken Paillard, to Bourbon Glazed French Cut Chicken, to Twice Cooked Duck Breast, to Popcorn Chicken and Sweet Potato Fries. One local favorite is the French Fry Salad which includes pickled string beans and pastrami.

Able to seat fifty and recently renovated, the Brooklyn Steak Co. provides an appealing and relaxing atmosphere that goes beyond the everyday. The décor is artful. The feeling is familiar and casual. Be prepared to feast. And don't be surprised if Ms. Zaetz herself provides some nice conversation—and spiritual lift.

Brooklyn Steak Co.
1316 Avenue M, Brooklyn, NY 11230
(718) 376-0680
Rabbi Yisroel P. Gornish

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The Restaurant Guy Elan�Kornblum, also known as "The Restaurant Guy" is the Publisher and President of Great Kosher Restaurants International, the award-winning, full-color worldwide publication and its accompanying website. �Elan�has covered the kosher restaurant industry for the last 10 years and is the leading authority when it comes to kosher restaurants.