The Jewish Daily Forward - The Jew and the Carrot - February 7, 2013

Kosher Pop Up Is Manna From Heaven

Kosher Pop Up Is Manna From Heaven ...The highlights came early and late. The first course was a delicious and fun amuse bouche that was basically a 21st century form of gribenes, the Eastern European specialty made of fried chicken skin. (A staple at weddings and bar mitzvahs, that is; not so much at circumcisions.) Raves all around. And the dessert, featuring the aforementioned coconut-caramel pear, elicited oohs and ahhs...


style me pretty - November 2012

Queens Wedding at The Metropolitan Building

Queens Wedding at The Metropolitan Building
Catering and Wedding Cake: Manna Catering
Full article:
Underground Eats - April 27 2012

Some Enchanted Kosher Evening (and Not a Matzo Ball in Sight)

undergroundeats review

Their first kosher pop-up in October attracted 30 diners; today, over 100. If this is kosher, then we're converted.


The Jewish Daily Forward - The Jew and the Carrot - April 23, 2012

Kosher Pop-up Looks to Italy for Inspiration

...creative problem solver that he is, Lenchner has satisfied his longstanding jonesing for restaurant proprietorship by offering pop-up experiences to (kosher) foodies...Word of their pop-ups has gotten out, so their work for this upcoming one has increased three or four fold.

-- READ MORE - April 17, 2012

Manna Catering Offers Pop-up Experience for Kosher Diners

Asparagus with mushroom cannelloni from a past dinner.

If last week's matzo binge left you craving something a bit more refined, the latest Kosher pop-up from Manna Catering has a table waiting for you.

-- READ MORE - Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kosher Restaurant Without Walls
Caterer brings pop-up trend to those observing dietary laws.

Dan and Yair

Abraham may have created the first pop-up feast, hosting strangers in his open tent, offering choice and rare delicacies. Into that food tradition - spurred by the vagaries of the restaurant business and the pressures of the recession - comes Dan Lenchner.


Underground Eats - April 2012

Can This Pop-Up Make Kosher Food Sexy?

Chef Dan Lenchner and his son, Yair, are putting the sexy back into kosher food. Well, that would imply that kosher food was at one point sexy, and who would argue that it ever was? And so Dan, owner of Manna Catering, has opened the first kosher pop-up restaurant in The Foundry, a stunning venue in Long Island City, to show that kosher food is as innovative and delicious as any other cuisine.

-- READ MORE - October 2011

Pop-Up Restaurant in Long Island City

Pop-up restaurants and roving supper clubs have changed the dining scene in NYC but with so many of them being centered around non-kosher meat, I haven't attended.

So I jumped at the opportunity when my good friend A. sent me an e-mail with an invitation to a kosher pop-up hosted by Manna Catering. I checked out the menu, liked what I read and called in my reservation with my credit card.


Ruffled - February 2011

Offbeat New York City Wedding
Offbeat New York City Wedding
Catering and Wedding Cake: Manna Catering
Full article:
NY Magazine Spring 05
NY Magazine, Spring 2005

Eat, Drink, and Be Married
The Multiethnic Feast
December 18, 2004

The Bride and Groom: Judy Berenthal, 28, and Ori Winitzer, 29, who are both M.B.A. candidates.

The Setting: Angel Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts, a desanctified neo-Gothic-style synagogue on the Lower East Side.

Photograph by Arlene Sandler/Courtesy of
Judy Berenthal and Ori Winitzer
The Backstory: Ori was born in Israel and had lived in France, and Judy's father's family is from Cuba. To personalize the wedding, the couple wanted a reception that featured Middle Eastern, French, and Cuban food. They also wanted it to be kosher, both to honor their heritage and to accommodate family members. This made finding a caterer an enormous challenge. "A kosher wedding automatically limited the caterers available and quadrupled the prices," says Ori.

Making it Happen: Enter Dan Lenchner of New York's Manna Catering, an anything-but-traditional kosher caterer. The couple was impressed by Manna's sample menus - not a kugel, knish, kreplach, or kasha in sight - but was really sold when they met Lenchner in person. "Middle Eastern-Mediterranean food is standard for Dan, and he was very amenable to our other requests," says Ori.

How it Played Out: When guests arrived at six o'clock, food stations had been set up in the synagogue's mezzanine. One featured Middle Eastern fare such as baba ghannouj, ful (a hot fava-bean salad), Israeli salad, and Iraqi flatbread, while the other had Cuban favorites - arroz con pollo, ropa vieja (shredded beef), mango salad, and plantains. After the ceremony, which took place in the synagogue's main space, they moved back up to the mezzanine for cocktails (including, of course, mojitos) and hors d'oeuvre like lamb borekas with pomegranate dip, pissaladière (Provencal cheeseless pizza), cod cakes with saffron aioli, and fresh-tuna skewers. The sit-down dinner was French-Moroccan, starting with a salade composée of greens, roasted beets, asparagus, and a Tunisian potato-onion pastry called a brik. The main course was entrecôte de boeuf (rib-eye steak) with a Merlot-mushroom glaze and Israeli couscous and winter root vegetables, which was followed by a dessert of chocolat fondant molten chocolate cakes. A strong believer that a proper meal ends with a digestif, Ori provided a plum brandy. To create continuity between the food and the music, a klezmer band played during the meal, then afterward a Cuban orchestra took over. "It was a Jewish-themed event that turned into a Cuban thing really fast," Ori says. "People loved it," says Judy. "They're still calling to talk about it. They all say it's the best food they ever had."

The Tab: About $110 a head for food and beverage.

[ More photos from this wedding in the picture gallery ]

New York magazine Manna Catering
(212 966-3449)

AFFAIRS TO REMEMBER: Steven Spielberg's wedding to Kate Capshaw at his house in East Hampton took place two weeks after Liz Taylor and Larry Fortensky's helicopter blitzkrieged nuptials. Security was extreme; the couple met at a screenning of Doctor Zhivago, so the wedding was code-named the Zhivago Project.

WHO RUNS THE SHOW: Tel Aviv-born chef-owner Dan Lenchner came to America after the Six-Day War in 1967. Why catering? "I was a bachelor until I was 36." says Lenchner. "I got tired of eating meat loaf." TRAY CHIC: "A lamb chop is a lamb chop, and there's no reason you can't cook it as well as Chanterelle cooks it," says Lenchner, who calls himself "the glatt-kosher caterer who won't cook kugel." Manna does baked boreka filled with potatoes and wbite-truffle oil; Chilean sea bass with flavored kataifi; and a warm chocolate tart with creme anglaise and fresh berries. Pacific Rim and Latin cooking are surprising specialties. Monochromatic trays and few blossoms suit Lenchner fine. "The yiddish word ongepotchket means 'tricked up' " Lenchner says, laughing. "Here, there's no ongepotchket.

THE TAB: Cocktails from S25 per person; three course dinners from $70. Minimum food cost $1,000; dinner parties for 10 to 800; cocktails up to 1000

NY Weddings magazine
Spring 2002

Manna Catering
24 Harrison St.; 212-966-3449

Kosher-with-a-twist caterer Dan Lenchner wowed the crowd at a wedding thrown by Ronald Perelman for his daughter with a very exotic feast, including everything from Comish-hen tagine with conscous to (what else?) halvah ($130-$180).

Jewish Museum BEST BETS

The best of all possible things to buy, see, and do in the best of all possible cities

By Corky Pollan


With all the restaurant clones moving into art instituions - Sarabeth's at the Whitney, Dean & DeLuca at the Guggenheirn - it's easy to forget the humble purpose of the museum cafe: to nourish bodies left hungry by the soul's pursuit of spiritual sustenance. Cafe Weissman, at the Jewish Museum (1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street) best melds art (ful presentation) and food.

Architect Kevin Roche, in keeping with the elegant design of the original Warburg mansion, craated a cozy space with wood paneling, heavy oak doors, and a curved ceiling, The 6 month old basement bistro is as bright and airy as an atrium, thanks to artist Susan Stinsmuehlen-Amend's illuminated glass panels. Manna Catering's kosher menu is limited, but the selections are tasty and unusual: Seared tuna with guava relish on a baguette($7), herbed goat cheese with onion confit on country bread($6.50), perfectly riped strawberry-orange juice ($2.50), and chocolate bread pudding($2.50) are standouts.

Cafe Variety

Among the joys at the Jewish Museum is its new cafe, with a range of dishes best described as New American cooking: mesquite corn salad with chili peppers; spring rolls filled with spicy Asian noodles and black beans; radiatore salad with shiiake mushrooms, fennel, and zucchini; grilled summer vegetables on rosemary focaccia; plus Sumptuous sandwiches like seared tuna on a baguette or avocado with sun-dried tomatoes and tapenade on challah. And, yes, you can get a bagel and cream cheese. The mind behind the menu belongs to Dan Lenchner of Manna Caterers: Lenchner's food is so good, visitors won't have to scour the neighborhood for a meal. (Food prices range from $3.50 to $6.50,plus museum admission.)

-Barbara Costikyan

1109 Fifth Avenue, at 92nd Street/423-3210
[ Please note, Manna is no longer at the Jewish Museum ]


Manna Catering, Inc.
42-25 A Vernon Blvd., Long Island City, NY 11101
Tel. 212-966-3449 Fax: 347-472-4445