Eli's Night Shift
The words “fried” and “the Upper East Side” don’t often mingle in a sentence. If they were a holiday party, they’d be like your over inflated, wearing one too many layers of velvet, sitting in the corner in an upholstered floral chair, indigent aunt and that frat brother who chipped a tooth doing his weekly keg stand, that lived too far from home so your brother brought home. Well, friends, it exists. Like Martha Stewart and Snoop being besties, Eli’s Night Shift is chipping away at the stodgy stereotypes of the Upper East Side—it’s ok, I’m allowed to say that, I claim it, it’s my hood.
Ok, ok. Let’s pause for a second and note that this is not your low brow grease pit. No, this restaurant comes from the masterful hands of Eli Zabar who block after block and restaurant after restaurant is monopolizing the Upper East side. So, when I say “fried” I’m talking about expertly fried. It’s perfectly crisp. When you bite into an onion ring, your teeth do not seep into it, they crunch though it. When you lift up your first half of your grilled cheese sandwich, you note the thick cut bread freshly baked bread and the ooey gooey cheese and halfway through the sandwich realize that you don’t need a napkin because your hands aren’t lathered in a coat of grease. Then when you think to yourself, I should order something healthy so I don’t feel quite as guilty about eating plate after plate of tan crunchy things, you remember you’re on the Upper East Side and of course there are healthy bites, so you order the heirloom tomato salad and are grateful to see that those tomatoes aren’t a mushy afterthought but instead are some of the freshest ones you can find in New York because they are grown on the top of a building within the city, farmed and brought directly to your table. It’s so cool!
No, really, think about it with me, Eli Zabar has his own gourmet grocery store, Eli’s, with the highest quality ingredients you can find in the neighborhood two blocks away from this restaurant. I’ve literally gone in there, asked about edible flowers and when they told me that they were out of season, they asked me when I needed them by, made a phone call and had a special order onsite in the next couple of days for me to pick up. To be clear, I never stated that I was a food writer, never mentioned this website, literally a girl in her gym clothes running in en route home from the gym a block away hoping that this grocery store had the ingredient she needed. If year after year they bring in the highest quality produce with this kind of attention paid to customer service, this is the kind of neighborhood join that I’m excited to have readily available to indulge in.