There has never been a kosher steakhouse like Mocha Red. Mocha Red, in Manhattan’s Union Square, is expected to open at the end of June. Owner Naftali Abenaim, who also owns Mocha Burger in Soho and on the Upper East Side, and Mocha Bleu, a gourmet dairy restaurant in Teaneck, New Jersey, said Mocha Red will have the best of American and MediterrAsian fusion cuisine and an extensive selection of wine, spirits, beer on tap and artisanal craft cocktails. Spectacular aesthetics include bespoke hand-crafted furniture and specially commissioned artwork in an atmosphere that feels like a tropical vacation in the heart of New York City.
“Think Wynwood, Miami, meets Tulum!” said Naftali Abenaim. “No need to travel!”
Wynwood is an enclave in Miami known for its vibrant street art and murals. Mr. Exclusive, who designed many of the murals in Wynwood, has created original art for the walls at Mocha Red. Tulum in Mexico, with its seaside cafes, pampers tourists who want to relax and get away from it all. Abenaim said that’s the goal at Mocha Red: a few hours of vacation from the world, where you can enjoy yourself and not just have a meal.
“People want to feel special when they go out. Until now, going to a restaurant meant eating and going home, or on to another activity. At Mocha Red you’ll have a multi-sensory dining experience, with a dash of theatre. Watch as elements of your meal are prepared tableside on a Robato (Japanese) grill, to the rhythm of chill-out Tulum pulses and beats. We’ll be bringing in guest DJs to add a live performance vibe and encourage you to stay.”
Executive Chef David Kolotkin, formerly of Prime Grill in Manhattan, said his mission is “to put Naftali’s vision on the plate.” There will be several types of cuisine for the kosher discerning diner—and anyone who is looking for an exciting dining experience. Kolotkin is making steak the star of the menu. Mocha Red will have the best prime cuts, dry aged for ultimate tenderness, in an open glass case you can see. But that’s not all. He and Abanaim are excited to introduce MediterrAsian, a fusion of Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, that marries and harmonizes the flavors of both. “MediterrAsian is bringing the clean, light flavors of the Mediterranean together with the sweet and savory sauces of Asian cuisine,” Kolotkin explained.
The menu is overflowing with dishes like fresh branzino flown in from Greece and Turkey, roasted tableside with herbs and spices; avocado guacamole smashed into a smooth, silky dip and served with black rice crackers; satay glazed chicken and beef with Mocha spice plus vegetarian and vegan options. A sommelier with extensive knowledge will help with wine suggestions for each item on the menu.
To encourage regular visits, Mocha Red will have private 18” x 18” lockers to rent for a monthly fee, identified with a personalized gold plaque and accessed with a personal gold key. Customers can keep their own steak knives here, engraved with their name, and their fabulous bottle of wine or liquor from dinner that’s best finished next time.
Mocha Red has a 40-foot-long bar for people who would like to have a bite while watching a sporting event, or enjoy pre-dinner appetizers. The same menu is available with 12 appetizer options including wings and burgers, delivered with Mocha Red’s signature flair. “All budgets are welcome here,” said Abenaim. “We put the same care and attention into all our menu choices.”
The casual front and fine dining back are visually represented in furniture that Abenaim designed himself for Mocha Red. Contemporary rattan seating in front and couches with plush, velvet cushions in back invite diners to spend a couple of hours with their steak and a nice bottle of wine. The outdoor white seating with velvet cushions is reminiscent of Tulum, but in the center of New York’s hippest area, where artists, designers and executives are returning to the city and restarting its economic engine.
“Some restaurants have chairs designed to get you up and out as quickly as possible,” said Abenaim. “We want you to stay. Here, it’s all about comfort and your experience.”
Mocha Red, 127 4th Avenue, corner of 13th Street, New York City, will be open for lunch and dinner Sunday through Wednesday until midnight; Thursday until 2:00 a.m. and Saturday night from one hour after sundown to 2:00 a.m. Street parking is available and discount parking will be available at a nearby Icon garage. Get updates about opening at www.mochared.com and on Instagram @mocharednyc.