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North Center’s Getting a Full-Service Jewish Deli with Lebanese Influences

Read the menu for Steingold’s of Chicago, slated to open in August

Steingold’s of Chicago
Courtesy of Aaron Steingold
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

Smoked fish, corned beef, and pastrami, fresh-baked bagels, and more are heading to North Center in August when Steingold’s of Chicago hopes to open near the CTA Brown Line’s Irving Park stop. Aaron Steingold, previously the opening general manager of Trench in Wicker Park, will operate the restaurant and is co-owner alongside his wife, Elizabeth Abowd. Look for a variety of items celebrating Steingold’s Jewish heritage, as well as Abowd’s Lebanese roots.

The 48-seat and 2,000-square-foot restaurant should open in mid- to late-August at 1840 W. Irving Park Road, Aaron Steingold said. While Crain’s broke the story, Steingold chatted about his upcoming BYO restaurant. Before reading the menu below, here’s a few facts to what except from Steingold’s.

  • Steingold’s family is from New York, and that brings great deli memories from spots like Carnegie’s, Katz’s, and Ratner’s. While Kaufman’s Deli in suburban Skokie ranks as one of Steingold’s local favorites, he also credits Snaggletooth, the shuttered deli in Lakeview, as one of this influences.
  • Speaking of Snaggletooth, former co-owner Bill Montagne (currently the chef at Nico Osteria) connected Steingold with the man who will bake their bagels. Max Stern baked the bialys at Snaggletooth. While Stern handles the bagels, Steingold — for the moment — will turn to Hewn Bakery in Evanston for most of the bread. That arrangement may be temporary, as Steingold said he’s looking for a baker. Rye, challah, and sourdough are among the breads they’ll serve.
  • They’ll also make fresh-baked pitas for the shawarma. That dish will be a to-go special and showcase Lebanese flavors. While latkes traditionally come with sour cream, they’ll replace that with labneh, which is akin to Greek yogurt. Steingold also plans to offer a rotating selection of heat-at-home dinners.
  • The location is near Rare Tea Cellar, and that means there’s easy access to plenty of ingredients to use to smoke and cure meats and fish. The smoked fish isn’t on the regular menu. They’ll have tea-smoked fish and a sake-cured salmon. They’ll also pour Rare Tea Cellar’s tea and Sparrow Coffee. Just like Snaggletooth.
  • They’ll have plenty of classic over-stuffed deli sandwiches. But one of the sandwiches celebrates the tie between American Jews and Chinese food. The “Sister In Law” features Chinese mustard on a reuben (that also features Korean kimchi). Steingold said customers should also expect Peking duck during Christmas time.

Read the menu below: