We are here to out Dani Luv. The DJ who has told jokes, sung songs and played records at New York's famed Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse six days a week since 1998 is... Jewish. OK, you knew that, but the sad truth is that he's also a pescatarian who hasn't eaten one of the the long-marinated, garlicky steaks that lend his regular haunt its name in almost five years. That means he also hasn't tried the excellent version thereof served at Houston's Kenny & Ziggy's New York Delicatessen. "I eat fish because they can't talk," he reasons in an Israeli accent. He gives high marks to the salmon and chocolate pastry cigar at Kenny & Ziggy's.
Hopefully the fish will continue their silence when Luv returns to Kenny & Ziggy's for a second installment of pop-up Ziggy’s Roumanian Steak House on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12. Luv made his Houston debut in the deli's Schmooze Room last August to sold-out crowds. And those who don't mind eating talking cows and chickens will be richly rewarded with starters such as chopped liver made tableside, stuffed kishkhas and karnatzlach garlic sausage. Though it would be heresy to order anything but the Roumanian steak, the pop-up will feature nine different entrée options, including chicken schnitzel, slow-roasted spring chicken, beef goulash and grilled salmon. That's followed by dessert, paired with make-your-own egg creams. "It's like Jew Land," Luv says, accurately appraising the situation.
Luv met Kenny & Ziggy's owner Ziggy Gruber when he brought a large group to Sammy's to celebrate the birth of his daughter in 2014. "It wasn't a bris because it was a daughter," Luv says absentmindedly, recalling the day.
Does his schtick in Houston vary from that of his New York performances? "I did test the water," he recalls of his previous Houston shows. "The water is not so different." He might use the "f-word" in his performances, but as he puts it, "There are no dirty words or dirty jokes—just dirty people. If it comes from the right place, it goes to the right place."
Besides some off-color jokes, the show involves covers of songs popularized by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald as well as show tunes with an unsurprising emphasis on standards from Fiddler on the Roof. But younger audiences needn't fear: "We're doing the new dreck music," he allows.
To hear both the dreck and the classics, reserve a spot call 713-679-8453 or visit kennyandziggys.com.