Greenwich & Delancey: Elevated Kosher Cuisine that Harkens to the Old World

Did you know there is a kosher delicatessen in Greenwich? Greenwich & Delancey opened in Cos Cob during the height of the pandemic.

And while many have yet to notice or visit this hidden gem, word-of-mouth has spread, and during a recent midweek visit, every seat was occupied at lunchtime.

Indeed, in Greenwich the word “deli” typically evokes a favorite sandwich to go at lunch time, but Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen is an ideal spot to sit down for a hot meal at lunch or dinner.

Restaurateur and caterer, chef David Teyf of Madison & Park Hospitality Group, who also owns a second Greenwich & Delancey location at 50 West Street in Manhattan’s Financial District, explained that when he moved to Greenwich from New York City he was surprised by the dearth of kosher eateries in town.

In short, Teyf set about filling a gap.

At Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen in Cos Cob the menu is kosher, overseen by a rabbi. Dec 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Chef Teyf, who also owns Lox, a café at the Museum of Jewish Heritage near Battery Park, said his family’s roots are in Minsk, Belarus where he was born.

“We came to the United States when I was five, and lived for a few years in Atlanta, Georgia,” he said. “My parents were shocked by Wonder Bread – we were so used to old school quality bread and all of a sudden, in 1979, there was nothing but Wonder Bread.”

After a few years Teyf’s family moved to Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, where they were pleased to find fresh bread and specialty items like herring – and of course, an entire Russian-speaking community.

Teyf said he had strong memories of his grandfather.

“He was a phenomenal cook,” Teyf recalled. “We offer our Minsk Matza Babka Bites as an homage to my grandfather.”

Teyf said that back in Minsk, his grandparents supplied the Jewish community with matza back in the 1920s.

Considering the time, Teyf said, his grandfather had risked his life operating the matza factory.

“The local police and government allowed it, but of course there were pogroms and secret police – and then of course the war started.”

“So of course, baking is also in my blood,” he said.

Chef Teyf joked that his youngest memories include cleaning the kitchen in Minsk at the age of three.

“I was obsessed with clean kitchens,” he said. “Now I know why.”

Chef David Teyf and the team at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. Dec 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Chef Teyf said he is often asked to name his favorite item on the menu.

“It’s an impossible question, because everything on the menu has a story, starting with the Pelmeni, which are handmade dumplings,” he explained. “My mother used to make them every Friday for Shabbos. She made them both ways – pan fried and boiled.”

To elevate his dumpling offerings and make them healthier, the Pelmeni are made with chicken breast meat.

“It’s beyond clean tasting because I only use unbleached flour, sea salt and water,” he said.

Greenwich & Delancey offers kosher fare, and a rabbi is present full time to oversee that all relevant procedures are adhered to.

They also have a full liquor license and an expansive display case of desserts.

But, oh, the pastrami!

Pastrami carved tableside at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. Dec 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Pastrami carved tableside at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. Dec 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Mini smoked pastrami donut, one of Chef Teyf’s creations Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. Dec 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Many of the menu items are Teyf’s creations, including his delicious savory smoked pastrami mini donuts, finished with a touch of  honey glaze and a side of pickled Russian dressing.

Shitake mushroom deviled egg, stuffed with wild mushrooms and caramelized onions at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. Dec 6, 2023

A closer look at the Shitake mushroom deviled egg creation, stuffed with wild mushrooms and caramelized onions at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. Dec 6, 2023

While take-out is available, and the major food delivery apps connect to Greenwich & Delancey, dishes like Chef Teyf’s signature pastrami, carved tableside, are an in-person experience not to be missed.

The dish is wheeled out on a trolley and beautifully presented on a wooden platter. The pastrami is then revealed from under a smoked-filled glass dome, and as the pleasing aroma wafts across the table, the meat is expertly carved.

Pastrami carved tableside at Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen. Dec 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Another obsession of Chef Teyf and his sons, Elan and Tollan, who are also chefs, are hot dogs.

Chef Teyf and Elan both studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris; Tollan studied at studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Madrid.

“One of my biggest memories was coming to Coney Island in Brooklyn at the age of seven or eight for one of the best hot dogs I ever had in my life,” he recalled. “It was right on the boardwalk. There were hot dogs and knishes, but I’ll never forget always wanting a second hot dog.”

Today the Greenwich & Delancey menu features a grilled hotdog served with ketchup, mustard and sauerkraut. There are also Franks in a Blanket, including a vegan version.

Grilled hot dog at Greenwich & Delancey. Dec 6, 2023

Foreground, a chicken blintz made with free range chicken and caramelized Vidalia onion. Dec 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

Pelmeni. Chicken breast dumplings, boiled or pan fried, served with a tofu-based sour cream made with dill and cucumbers, plus a house vinegar. Dec 6, 2023 Photo: Leslie Yager

As a crisp sour pickle triggered this reporter’s memories, Teyf said, “We hit that nerve a lot with our guests.”

“Same with the music we play,” he added, noting that the song playing was, My Yiddishe Momme, by the Barry Sisters, which reminded him of his father dancing with his own mother, Teyf’s grandmother, who was a Holocaust survivor, and sadly, the only survivor in her family.

Teyf’s delicatessen is named after our Town of Greenwich, of course, but also Delancey Street, the major thoroughfare running through Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where hundreds of thousands of Jewish immigrants settled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

While many Greenwich & Delancey patrons are Jewish and appreciate that the menu is Kosher, many will recall the charming characters of the 1988 Jewish rom-com hit film, Crossing Delancey – Izzy her “Bubbie,” and Sam the pickle man.

Indeed, at Greenwich & Delancy a delightfully crisp assortment of half sour and sour pickles, as well as pickled tomatoes, are complimentary.

For others the inclusion of the Shirley Temple on the drinks menu, below the martini varieties – classic, dirty, very dirty and pickled – will stoke more memories.

Chef Teyf said many guests travel from Westchester, but the just as many are local.

“They’re not Jewish, they just love the cuisine. Our pastrami is old-school New York, but everything we do has a little twist,” he said, motioning to his smoked pastrami mini donut creation.

He described the menu as the result of old school techniques, meaning, Teyf said succinctly, “no short-cuts.”

“No microwaves. No deep fryers. No conditioners and softeners for the breads,” Teyf said. “The cooking takes hours. We use quality oils and spices. Everything is very health conscious.”

“I called it a delicatessen instead of fine dining because it’s full of surprises and people leave here saying, ‘Oh, wow, I didn’t see that coming.'”

If you don’t have room, take home a selection from the delicious Old World Bakery. Dec 6, 2023

Greenwich & Delancey Delicatessen is located at 59 East Putnam Ave in Cos Cob.

Tel. (203) 340-2733

Open for lunch and dinner. Closed on a Friday night and Saturday for the Jewish Sabbath.

Chef Teyf said Sunday is the busiest day. Reservations are recommended.