Post-Sandy Restaurant Recovery Stories: JoeDoe in the East Village Online + Open

JoeDoe owners and operators Chef Joe Dobias and Jill Schulster pose with their famous housemade Fried Matzo outside their restaurant.

Restaurant Name: JoeDoe
Location: East Village
Years in business: Four
Status: Fully open.
Damage: None.
Losses: Minimal amounts of food; six days of service.
Owner: Joe Dobias

Prior to Sandy, had you ever had to deal with a disaster situation at this or any restaurant?

I’ve been here for quite a few of them recently. I was here for the blackout in ’03. The restaurant I was working at on the Upper East Side lost everything there. That wound up going out of business, not directly as a result of that, but it was the final nail in the coffin.

Then, in 2006, I was working in Queens when much of it was blacked out for days. We actually wound up barbecuing in the street in front of that restaurant, serving $10 plates of food a night. So, I’ve been through things like this previously, and the idea that anyone in an official capacity was surprised by the intensity of this storm is ridiculous.

When did you shut the doors to prepare for the storm?

We closed down early in anticipation of it, losing all of Sunday night. Then, at 8PM on Monday night, we lost power. I hear people talking about losing tens of thousands in inventory, but we were fortunate. We were at the end of the week, and we close on Mondays anyway. Also, we’re extremely careful when it comes to ordering, so we were down to a very minimal amount of food.

What have your post-Sandy reopening efforts entailed?

We opened the doors on Thursday evening with candles and some friends at the bar. We only stayed open until 8:30PM and then, as soon as we shut the doors, we all left together. The city should not be unlit, and it was.

You could sense the angst as you walked the streets. Everybody looked un-showered, unclean, and really, really tired. And that’s when I started getting nervous.

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Passover Restaurant Reservations: Reserve a Seat at a Special Seder

Every item on a Seder plate is part of the Exodus story.

Passover is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it, but it’s something we’ve only done at home. In recent years, though, a number of restaurants have started hosting gourmet seders of their own. Forget the anemic, jarred gefilte fish and stale matzo of your childhood! These restaurants are serving up delicious interpretations of classic  Passover dishes that will please even the most pious. I can tell you that eating the fried matzo at JoeDoe feels like a religious experience even when it’s not Passover.

Several restaurants have shared their menus, including:

Hearty, Chicago: Chef Dan Smith is serving up a super-hearty Passover seder with matzo ball soup with carrot dill broth, housemade gefilte fish, braised smoked brisket, “Hearty” chicken in a pot, and apple matzo kugel, offered April 6-16. Reserve.

Jar, Los Angeles: Chefs Suzanne Tracht and Preech Narkthong’s seder on Friday, April 6th, features three courses, which includes a choice of their signature pot roast or Alaskan halibut, plus passed hors d’oeuvres, sides, such as horseradish mashed potatoes and sauteed pea tendrils, and dessert. Reserve.

JoeDoe, New York: Jill Schulster and Chef Joe Dobias are putting on a progressive Passover on April 6-8, featuring fried matzoh, Jewish wedding soup, slow-roasted brisket and Komish cookie sandwiches. Reserve.

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