This deli has been catering for New York City's movie sets since 1978— maybe it's all the time away from the shop, or just the unspoken law of "authentic" bagel spots, that makes the small place so dingy: Dirty floor tiles, a few tables, fluorescent lights, and a long deli counter holding spreads and Hebrew National cold cuts. As with its counterparts across town, it's what's in the brown bag that counts, but here you can bag more than pungently flavored hand-rolled bagels, baked fresh as needed—every hour or so—and served 13 to a dozen. There are also deli sandwiches, danishes, muffins, and cookies. The real draw is a menu of fresh smoked fish that goes beyond the usual lox and nova to include chubs—a rudderfish famously smoked in Wisconsin—herring filet in wine or cream sauces, velvety sable, and a few others. This isn't the place for sun-dried tomato spread or gimmicky oversized (or overstuffed) rolls: None of the nine bagel varieties are eyebrow-raisers, and with the exception of the tofu cream cheese, those flavors don’t range far beyond oldies-but-goodies like scallion, vegetable, and a velvety lox cream cheese that might just be even better than the real thing.Extra
The catering arm offers smoked fish platters, cold cuts and cheese platters, cream cheese platters, and salad platters.