When Levana opened her eponymous restaurant with her husband and two brothers-in-law in the late 1970s, all Kirschenbaums were perfectly aware they were facing a hard sell: introduce fine kosher dining to the Kosher public, who until then was content either eating at home or grabbing a bite in the rare joints that served institutional old world treats. The general prediction was that the presumptuous idea would fall flat on its face.
Undaunted by being the trailblazers of the trend, Levana and her partners surrounded themselves with the best chefs, developed the most delicious dishes and waited patiently until the idea of upscale kosher caught on. The rest, as we all know, is history: The kosher food and wine market has experienced a veritable explosion and occupies pride of place among the most prestigious competitions. Many luxury kosher restaurants have opened and thrived since Levana's pioneering days, bearing out the dictum that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Although Levana Restaurant closed its doors after thirty exciting years, her former partner Sol Kirschenbaum, co-owner of the wonderful Nobu Teaneck Restaurant, still runs Passover programs in three of the world's most prestigious Fairmont Hotels Passover Programs.