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Massachusetts News

Kosher Tavern/Beit Midrash Launches Outside Boston: Lehrhaus

A new kosher tavern that doubles as a beit midrash recently launched in Somerville, Massachusetts, not far from Boston, Brookline, Newton, and the surrounding areas.

The food menu at Lehrhaus offers your classic tavern fare, meaning plenty of apps and small plates. Dishes tend to be Jewish-inspired; the menu features smoked salmon pate, vegetarian “chopped not-liver” and mac and cheese kugel.

Designed by award-winning bartender Naomi Levy, the beverage program delves into Jewish
stories through the frame of a contemporary cocktail bar. The Passover macaroon-inspired
“Azzimo” (Bourbon, Amaretto, Amaro, Coconut & Chocolate Bitters) highlights the progression
of the ubiquitous treat from Italy to America. “Colonia Roma” (Mezcal, Ancho Chili, Apricot,
Tamarind, Lime & Soda) celebrates the dynamic flavors of the Syrian Jewish communities in
Mexico City. And “Tribe of Dan” (Niter Kibbeh-infused Rum, Housemade Banana Liqueur,
Pineapple & Lime) reimagines a tropical cocktail combined with the flavors of Ethiopia.
Chef Noah Clickstein, formerly of Juliet, helms the kitchen with eight-time James Beard award
finalist Michael Leviton advising as well.

Their pescatarian menu brings deeply flavored tavern fare drawn from Jewish communities across the world. The Beet Reuben reinterprets the deli classic with house-smoked & pastrami-spiced beets. A traditional Fish & Chips nods to the rich history of Iberian Jewish fried foods, accompanied by an untraditional amba vinegar and s’chug aioli. Red Lentil Stew draws inspiration from the book of Genesis while grounded in a traditional Sabbath stew from Jewish Ethiopian cuisine. And Smoked Salmon Paté honors the appetizing traditions of Manhattan’s Lower East Side with everything bagel chips for schmearing.

Lehrhaus is co-founded by Rabbi Charlie Schwartz and Joshua Foer, who are committed to
creating a welcoming space for anyone who is interested in experiencing a different culture or
learning more about their own. “We’re creating the kind of gathering space the world needs: a
welcoming, stylish, smart, sociable neighborhood watering hole that brings people of all
backgrounds together to tap into the ancient, profound history and culture of the Jewish people,”
said Rabbi Schwartz. “The pace of life has a way of emptying our reservoirs—Lehrhaus is a
place to fill them up again.”

“Our ambition is to bring the best of Jewish fare and Jewish learning together under one roof, in
an open and accessible way,” says Foer, who also co-founded Atlas Obscura and is the
best-selling author of Moonwalking with Einstein.

The establishment serves certified kosher food and drinks (under the supervision of KVH),
ensuring that all can enjoy the experience of eating and drinking at Lehrhaus. Lehrhaus also
offers a library featuring over 3,000 volumes, classes and opportunities to delve into Jewish text,
and special events featuring leading national thinkers on Jewish topics.

The drinks menu features a dozen original mixed drinks, which is where Lehrhaus shines. Guests can enjoy fruity flavors in the “spritz petel” (arancia aperitivo, raspberry, bubbles), spicy flavors in the “colonial roma” (mezcal, ancho chili, apricot, tamarind, lime, soda), or old-fashioned flavors in the “PB and deli” (an adult egg cream with whiskey, kiddush wine, peanut butter, milk, and seltzer.) Those looking for more basic offerings can opt for a choice from the wine and beer menu.

As for the beit midrash, it is located just off the main dining room and contains bookshelves with all sorts of Jewish books and tables for individual learning or chevruta study.

>>> Click here for the full menu

Lehrhaus is located at 425 Washington St, Somerville, MA. It is kosher-certified by KVH.

Lehrhaus is open:

  • Sunday: 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm
  • Monday & Tuesday: 4:30 pm – 10:00 pm
  • Wednesday & Thursday: 4:30 pm – 11:00 pm
  • Friday & Saturday: Closed