The moment we walked in, the place had a familiar feel. It felt cozy and comfortable, like we'd been there before. If you had any experience in the New York delis of the 60's, 70's and 80's, you'd know what we're talking about. Gottlieb's is a place that has an ambience practically erased from the landscape of New York City.
Doesn't the name Gottlieb ring a bell? Have you known a Gottlieb or two in your day? Defined as "God's love," it's familiar to many. We had the honor of the proprietor, Gottlieb himself (the grandson of the founder of the restaurant, who passed away only 2 years ago at the age of 98, of blessed memory), serve our boisterous table of 7.
Founded in 1962, the family has served up delicious dishes to hungry souls from all walks of life. We didn't ask about this Gottlieb's family history, but we got a big smile when we told him about our idea of the ganse mishpucha. Gottlieb's father was in the house, busy preparing deli platters and serving up food, so we didn't get a chance to shmooze with him..
And the food? Perhaps the best stuffed cabbage we have ever had (sorry, grandma). The puffed up rice inside the meat filling was so tasty. The sweet and sour sauce was near-perfect. There was chicken fricasse, latkes, shlishkes, homemade mashed potatoes, health salad, brisket and roast beef in a sauce, plated hot tongue (sorry, no raisins), and a turkey cutlet that was far from the roasted bird we had on Thanksgiving a few weeks ago.
Hipster, chassid, or Chowhound, Gottlieb's is a place to add on to your radar screen. It is, without doubt, part of the Whole Phamily.
Oh, and of course they're closed on shabbes.