Even before The Gorbals first opened for dinner on Aug. 28, chef Ilan Hall’s bacon-wrapped matzah balls served with horseradish mayonnaise had already earned his new downtown restaurant its share of notoriety in the food press.
But Hall, 27, doesn’t seem afraid of anyone’s opinion — except those of the city’s health inspectors, who, just a few days after opening, temporarily shut down The Gorbals for an inadequate water heater, forcing him to cancel all reservations at the last minute. The restaurant relaunched on Oct. 23, 2009.
For every Jew offended by his matzah balls, Hall thinks another two will indulge their inner Jewish rebel. In life, Hall is exactly as viewers of “Top Chef’s” second season might remember him: full of chutzpah, in food and in personality, a quality that charmed the show’s judges to his victory.
One could argue that his restaurant is a delicious symbol, reflecting the assimilation of Jews into world cultures — the bacon as the goy, embracing the Jew, only to absorb each others’ unique flavors. Really, it’s just Hall’s brand of Jewish humor. READ MORE.