Alenbi is an Israeli-inspired meat restaurant located in Crown Heights. This review was written in August of 2021.
Where is Alenbi located?
Alenbi is located at 887 Nostrand Avenue, between Crown and Carrol Streets.
The restaurant has a gorgeous sandstone-esqu exterior, with beautiful windows that spill bright light to the street outside. You can drive, but parking can be tricky in that area, especially at night time.
If you choose to take public transportation, the 2 and 5 subway lines stop at President Street Station, just steps away.
What time is Alenbi open?
The restaurant is open from 5:00PM- 10:30PM, Sunday through Thursday, and 9PM- 2AM Saturdays, seasonally. Alenbi is closed on Fridays.
What is the vibe at Alenbi?
Alenbi is trendy, modern and upscale. You can definitely dress to impress, but you will be equally comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. With cozy bookshelves, plush couches and dark breakfronts filled with china, Alenbi feels somewhere between a cozy living room and a modern bar. The space is beautiful and well styled, and beat of all, it smells amazing.
Do I need to make a reservation?
Yes, you do need to make a reservation.
Alenbi has lived up to its reputation of incredible food, pretty much since it opened over 2 years ago. The restaurant is always bustling, and your chances of getting a table without calling ahead are very slim.
You can make reservations online, by google-searching ‘Alenbi’.
What kind of food do they serve at Alenbi?
The restaurant is a Mediterranean inspired eatery, featuring Israeli style dishes.
Everything you order arrives impeccably plated, with gorgeous bright color and an incredible smell. Tahini features highly on the menu, as does parsley, cilantro and pickled onions.
One thing that is pretty amazing about Alenbi is the way the menu changes. Almost every time you visit, there will be some small changes to the menu. From seasonal items that only show up at certain times of the year, to miniscule changes in the presentation of a dessert, to show-stopping new additions.
Every visit is a chance to experience a new flavor.
What is on the menu at Alenbi?
These were some of our favorites from our last visit. If you don’t find them on the menu when you visit, but you liked the sound of them, ask your waiter to recommend something similar.
Deconstructed Falafel. It sounds very new-age and hipster, but this dish is delicious. It (as well as all the other dishes at Alenbi) is impeccably plated, and incredibly fresh. The Falafel sits on a bed of tahini, and is sprinkled with a chickpea crumble (think yogurt with granola topping, only savory). The plate is elegantly topped with cilantro, sumac pickled onions and chilli peppers, and served with piping hot pita bread.
Souvlaki. This dish is a work of art. It is grilled chicken, with sauteed onions and cabbage in a mouth-watering Georgian salsa. There are little shavings of veal and lamb, and a generous swirl of amba sauce on the side. The entire dish is sprinkled with fresh herbs, pine nuts, and (obviously) fresh tahini.
Lamb Ariis. This is delicious! Fresh pitas, quartered, stuffed with ground lamb, and then grilled. They are served with fire-roasted tomatoes, chilli’s, red onions and cabbage. On the side is a black eggplant cream, and I don’t know what is is made out of but it is staggeringly good. The entire dish, actually, is just magnificent.
D’Jango Steak. Ok, it’s pricey, but it is amazing. Like, off the charts amazing. This is a dish to share (unless you are super hungry), featuring 28oz of freshly seared rib-eye steak.* It comes with roasted baby potatoes, grilled mini broccoli, seared cherry tomaotes, pickled onions and a parsley gremolata sauce. This is the show-stopper, one that puts major steakhouses to shame. Everything about this dish is perfectly balanced. There is more than enough meat to feel full. There is the perfect amount of starchy potatoes to make a hefty side to the steak. And there is just enough light vegetables to feel fresh and healthy. The magnificent parsley sauce sure doesn’t hurt, either. This dish is an absolute winner.
*Wait, this is assuming you chose multiple appetizers. If you did not, you are totally going to eat this entire plate on your own.
Kruvit. Basically, roasted cauliflower. Get this appetizer, we finished ours in about 30 seconds. More details: tahini (obviously), mini salsa salad (delicious), zataar spice, and a garlic-breadcrumb sprinkled on top. Heaven.
What else is on the menu?
- Pita Sandwiches
What is the best dish at Alenbi?
According the the staff (and they were not wrong) the best dish on the menu is Kaved 2.0.
Here’s a story- I don’t love liver. Chopped liver seems super unappetizing to me, and from what I understand, cooking liver in a Kosher way is a little complicated. Well, Alenbi has uncomplicated it with this dish!
The Kaved 2.0 is hand-rolled cigars with chicken liver mousse inside, and a generous serving of green tahini dipping sauce. Its served with mini cornichon pickles, and caramelized onions.
For someone who would not eat liver before, I am absolutely sold. This dish is astoundingly good.
What Hashgacha are they under?
Alenbi is under the Kosher supervision of the OK. All meat is Lubavitch Shchita and Glatt, and wines are Mevushal. The baked goods are Pas Yisroel, and there’s a Mashgiach constantly on premises.
Does Alenbi serve drinks?
Yes! There are a few beer and wine options, and the restaurant also serves some house-cocktails. There are also some mock-tails and sodas if you are not drinking.
If you are looking for a recommendation, my favorite drink is the Edmund Alenbi. It has a grapefruit juice base (um, hello), Arak, lemon and mint. The Arak is just a mild undertone of flavor, and the entire drink tastes incredibly fresh and delicious.
If you are not into grapefruit juice, then maybe try the Yom Hashishi? It is more of a spiced sangria than cocktail, but I’ve heard rave reviews about it.
Is Alenbi kid-friendly?
Short answer: no. Long answer: also no.
The restaurant does not have high-chairs or amenities for small children. The actual menu is geared towards adults who are interested in trying new flavors and experiencing new foods… which would not fly with the kids that I know.
Go for a date night, or a night out with friends, and leave your kids with a babysitter. You will not regret it.
Is Alenbi wheelchair accessible?
Alenbi is wheelchair accessible, and has an accessible restroom. If you’d like to ensure you are seated in a comfortable space, you can call ahead and ask them to seat you accordingly.
When we visited, the staff were amazingly accommodating to all our requests.
Does Alenbi serve desserts?
Yes, Alenbi serves desserts.
There are a few options on their menu, but the house favorite is definitely Soom-Soom, and it’s easy to see why. It’s a perfect square of rich, chocolate fudge cake, topped with a halva ice cream and fresh figs and berries. On the side is a delicious blueberry sauce, some fragrant mint leaves and a heaping of shaved halva to top everything off.
Every bite of this is absolute heaven.
If you are not so into halva, you should definitely try the Malabi, which is a rose-water custard tart with a berry sauce. It’s divine.
When we visited Alenbi, it was with some close friends. We ordered drinks and most of the apps for the table to share, plus two mains that we wanted to try. Oh, and desserts.
The portion sizes are a bit small for the price. But- that is my only criticism.
Everything else was AMAZING. The food was out-of-this-world, the ambience was upbeat, the service was fantastic and the drinks were fresh and exciting. Altogether, our bill divided by 4 was $136.