This Sunday Brunch post is about a cute little restaurant in SoHo called Jack’s Wife Freda. This restaurant is a very simple and straightforward, no-frills kind of place that still pays attention to the little details, such as the adorable paper place-mat menus.
The owners, South African Dean Jankelowitz and his Israeli wife Maya, met while working at Balthazar; their experience at the famed bistro is apparent in their own restaurant. The place is clearly not run by amateurs and the small but varied menu is full of mouth-watering South African and Israeli-inspired fare, with an American comfort-food twist.
Although the name of the dish was unfamiliar, I decided to order the shakshuka, which I later read is owner Maya’s favorite. It’s a dish of Jewish origin, made by poaching eggs in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions and cumin.This version uses green tomatoes and comes accompanied by two slices of challah toast. The bread was soft and toasted just the right amount to give it a bit of crunch.The sauce was so delicious that after I’d eaten my eggs and toast, I used my friend Kyley’s extra bread to mop up the rest of it.
After we’d ordered our food, I realized that the menu includes a cantaloupe mimosa, and I couldn’t resist. The cocktail tasted just like fruit and with the light, bubbly champagne, it was perfect. The coffee, entrée and cocktail put me back $22 (before tax and tip) which for New York (especially SoHo) is pretty reasonable for a nice brunch.
The interior is very small, but not uncomfortable. If you ever go for brunch and have to wait a few minutes, it’s worth it, I promise.
Jack’s Wife Freda
Location: 224 Lafayette St. New York, NY Phone: (212) 510-8550