Netflix Celebrity Chef Opens ‘Borscht Belt’ Jewish Deli In New Jersey
Restaurateur and chef Nick Liberato, famous from the Netflix series “Restaurants on the Edge,” opened on Saturday in Stockton, New Jersey, a New York-style delicatessen that serves traditional Jewish-American cuisine and baked goods.
Liberato, who is also co-founder of the 618 Hospitality Group and star of Paramount Network’s “Bar Rescue,” said on Instagram that The Borscht Belt Delicatessen “had a line out the door since we opened at 7 am” on Saturday and another line “around the corner all day long” on Sunday.
The deli takes the entire west side of the indoor Stockton Market, with planned indoor and outdoor seating, and offers a 6-day-a-week, dine-in, take-out and catering menu.
A nod to its co-founder Mike Dalewitz‘s childhood and family, who owned and managed some iconic establishments in the Catskills, the restaurant was conceptualized “as an acknowledgement of the Borscht Belt region of New York’s Catskills Mountains, focused on bringing families together through food, entertainment, and traditional Jewish culture during the 1920s through the early 1990s,” according to a press release about the new establishment.
The menu offers various platters with fresh lox, meats, spreads, pickles and baked goods. The restaurant’s specialties include “Bubby Bell’s Matzo Ball soup,” “Borscht Beet” salad, and piled-high pastrami sandwiches fresh from the deli’s custom-built pastrami machine, made in New York. Fresh bagels are also offered, courtesy of the famous New York City shops Ess-a-Bagel, Streit’s Matzos, Junior’s cheesecake, Oneg Bakery and Seed + Mill Halva.
Dalewitz, who is also a co-founder of 618 Hospitality, said, “The Borscht Belt Delicatessen represents everything my family, along with many other Jewish families loved about their summers in The Catskills: community, family, celebrations, entertainment, and unbeatable NY-style Jewish cuisine. Our idea with The Borscht Belt is to resurrect those memories while paying homage to both Jewish culture and all the iconic New York delis and bagel shops we’ve always loved.”
“Food can be a source of comfort, connection, happiness, and when done right — can even transport you back in time,” said Liberato, the deli’s executive chef. “I am so excited to provide this community with some of my favorite ‘old-school’ delicatessen and appetizing favorites, and introduce my own contemporary ways of enjoying this cuisine inspired by my cultural experiences and travels.”
The Borscht Belt has partnered with the reform synagogue Shir Ami in Pennsylvania to donate a percentage of its first month’s profits to Leket Israel, Israel’s national food bank and leading food rescue organization.
Liberato said the deli is “very understaffed” and hiring for all positions.