Rimon, a new Kosher restaurant in Tulane’s Hillel Center from Chef Daniel Esses, opened for lunch on Wednesday with a menu inspired by Israeli, French, and Korean cuisines, among others. The name, Rimon, comes from the Hebrew word for pomegranate, a symbol for knowledge in Judaism. It also recalls the pomegranate tree near the front entrance to the Hillel Center. The restaurant, which is open to the public, will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner by August 21, according to an opening report in the Gambit.
From small bites like beef empanadas and Korean chicken wings to more filling options like burgers, shawarma, and a Korean rice bowl, the all-kosher menu hones in on a “healthy, farm-to-table, and seasonal ethos.” Important to the university demographic, service will be fast and include a number of grab-and-go items for people who don’t have the time to sit and linger over a meal.
“Being kosher forces [Esses] to do a lot of the products in-house, such as breads, condiments, pickles. Being on campus means he has to make it reasonable, ‘kosher farm-to-table at an affordable rate,’” according to a report in Southern Jewish Life magazine.
Esses met mentor Kevin Wilkins, president of Tulane’s Hillel Board, during his tenure at the Dryades Public Market (formerly Jack and Jake’s Public Market), which catalyzed the Hillel partnership. Esses is known for his work as chef and co-proprietor of Three Muses on Frenchman. He’s also the force behind Esses Foods, which graces New Orleans with fresh black squid ink pasta, fettuccine, gnocchi, and other Italian specialty items.
This marks Esses’ return to the University area, after his Three Muses Maple closed at the end of May (a particularly rough May for the restaurant business in New Orleans).
Esses “has both Sephardic and Ashkenazic heritage, ‘the best of both worlds.’ His father is from Aleppo, and Esses said ‘Jews from Aleppo are amazing cooks’ because Aleppo ‘was an amazing food city’ with a wide range of spices and influences,” according to the Southern Jewish Life story. He grew up making chopped liver and matzah ball soup with his mother in the Bronx.
“Students from all demographics, coming from all corners of campus, are the clientele. The food that Dan is creating is representative of that,” said Rabbi Yonah Schiller, executive director at Tulane Hillel in a report on Tulane’s website.
Take a peak at the menu here:
- Rimon Opens Inside Tulane’s Hillel House [GAMBIT]
- Hillel Introduces New International Dining Destination [TULANE]
- Chef Daniel Esses Goes Kosher with Rimon at Tulane Hillel [SOUTHERN JEWISH LIFE MAGAZINE]
- All New Orleans Restaurant Opening Coverage [ENOLA]