C+R Kitchen unveiled its new identity as a New York-style steakhouse on Wednesday night to a packed crowd of appreciative diners.
Merion Station — For the Main Line’s best-known kosher restaurant, it’s now prime time. C+R Kitchen unveiled its new identity as a New York-style steakhouse on Wednesday night to a packed crowd of appreciative diners.
Some items on the Montgomery Avenue mainstay’s menu include house-cured gravlax, lamb sliders, a steak house wedge salad with beef fry, shiitake tortellini, halibut, steak frites and prime rib, alongside classic steakhouse side dishes meant for sharing.
“We wanted to go back to high-end and fine dining,” said general manager
Jeff Gimbel by way of explaining the shift in focus.
Ron Didner, the chief operating officer of Six Points Restaurant Group, which includes Six Points Kosher Events, The Dairy Café and Montgomery Bagels & Bakery, said about 100 customers were expected at the 50-seat establishment on the first night.
The restaurant began life as Citron and Rose in 2012, with a focus on updated versions of traditional European Jewish cuisine. In 2013, the menu changed to a more casual, lower-priced menu and a family-oriented atmosphere.
Didner said many people liked the food, but felt it was too complex. In May of this year, the restaurant conducted a survey to determine what customers thought of the current menu — and what they would like to see changed. This feedback made a difference, he said.
Didner said that being closed for the 9 Days of Av gave the restaurant the perfect opportunity to transition into the new menu.
“We’ve listened to the community — we weren’t nervous” about making the change, he said. “This is what people asked us to do.”
In the past, he added, people would come there twice a year for special occasions, but by changing the menu to encompass more traditional offerings, customers will hopefully eat there more often.
“I’d rather have people here 20 times a year than two times,” he said.
The restaurant will be open Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday, and Monday and Tuesday for private events only.
“After two years, it is obvious Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the days that are the most beneficial,” Didner said.
Yoni and Kelly Harris of Merion Station had been to the restaurant before, but shared different opinions on what it was like to dine there in the past. Yoni, who is somewhat of a foodie, enjoyed the gourmet food, while Kelly, an acknowledged picky eater, said it was not for her.
“Before, I always thought of it like a new edge of Jewish-style food,” Yoni said. However, his wife disagreed. She said there were only four entrées, four appetizers and a few salads.
“I personally didn’t like the old menu,” she said. “If you didn’t like something, you were kind of in trouble.”
Kelly found the new menu more appealing, eapecially the shiitake spinach tortellini.
Hannah and Jeff Steinberg, also from Merion Station, have been regular customers since it opened. Jeff said that he didn’t really mind the menu changes, as he dug into a hazelnut-cranberry cake for dessert.
“I like the look of the new menu,” he said. “The commitment by them to make this place nice is encouraging.”