At first glance, downtown Baltimore might seem like an odd place to open a kosher restaurant like The Daily Special, but having a mixed clientele of Jews and non-Jews is just fine with Daniel Neuman, the Baltimore-based chef brought on by kosher café impresario Salomon Bemaras and Blue Ocean Realty President Jonathan Ehrenfeld. Bemaras and Ehrenfeld engaged Neuman’s services last year to consult on the restaurant’s opening, which is scheduled for later this spring.
Neuman said the restaurant stakes its success on a reputation for convenience, efficiency, and just plain high-quality food.
“I think the majority of customers are not going to be Jewish and they’re not going to care” about the restaurant’s status as a kosher establishment, said Neuman. Even so, the kosher menu will still be a good selling point, because a lot of people “look at kosher as something that’s more healthy, rather than something that’s bland.”
Besides the kosher aspects of The Daily Special, Bemaras, Ehrenfeld, and Neuman are planning to cater heavily to the businesspeople who work near the restaurant’s location at Saint Paul Plaza, in the heart of Baltimore’s business district.
“We wanted to create a kosher establishment downtown where you could have good, fresh food for the businesspeople that come downtown for the lunch hour so that they can come in and out,” said Neuman. “Sometimes they don’t have that much time to eat and they need to be able to grab something fairly fast.”
One of the mainstays of the restaurant’s menu will be a combined grain bar and salad bar. Beyond that staple, however, Neuman said they don’t want the restaurant’s menu to stay the same every day so they’ll frequently switch up some of the items on the menu. “Each day you’ll have items that are different seasonally, different chicken dishes, and different kinds of fish that you’ll be able to build your own kinds of bowls with in that kind of fast-paced establishment,” Neuman promised.
According to Neuman, The Daily Special’s exact opening date hasn’t been determined because its owners don’t want to rush the restaurant’s launch. (Representatives for Blue Ocean Realty and Salomon Bemaras did not respond to requests for comment for this article.) Nevertheless, Neuman is fairly confident The Daily Special will be a success.
“Just the fact that it’s going to be good, fresh food you can get at a fair speed and that’s not all over the place and you have a couple different options every day,” he said, “I think that’s really all you need.”
By Alex Holt