In 1999, a very young Albert Allaham moved to New York from Damascus. He was just 12 years of age. Following high school, Albert became a full-time butcher, working countless hours to learn the family’s expert techniques. Being a descendant of a long line of expert butchers dating back to more than 200 years to Damascus, Syria, this was more than just work, it was his true passion. In fact, his family ran one of the most respected butcher shops in the country.
He continued to hone his craft, becoming a master butcher and the owner of the very popular, Brooklyn high-end meat market – The Prime Cut, which serves top quality meats to customers throughout the New York area. Driven and dedicated to bring his customers only the finest quality in kosher meats, the savvy entrepreneur then extended his knowledge and expertise of fine cuts to fine dining, creating Reserve Cut, the contemporary kosher restaurant at The Setai Wall Street in the Financial District. His goal: to redefine the kosher dining landscape and encourage non-kosher guests to try its superior cuisine.
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
It was an easy transition as my family has been in the SERVICE/HOSPITALITY business for generations as MASTER BUTCHERS.
Tell us about Reserve Cut. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the restaurant?
STEAKS was our inspiration. What better way to SHOWCASE the BEST steaks in the city of New York than to open a restaurant?
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have contributed to Reserve Cut's success?
Our strategy has ALWAYS been to showcase who we are in terms of QUALITY of food, beverage & service. We always ask ourselves: “What is the point of difference between us and the others? What can we do differently?” The point of difference is that no other restaurant serves our prime steaks and no one has this one-of-a-kind venue. That is our strategy…..being HONEST with our guests and simply showing them what we do.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
1. QUALITY/DISCERNING GUESTS…..Today’s guest are the most food educated guests we have ever had. They KNOW food and understand QUALITY. It is important that we deliver it every day.
2. LOCAL FARMERS/FARM TO TABLE….We establish and nurture relationships with ALL our vendors and in particular local farmers
3. WELLNESS…..Protein-bowls, super-foods….kale, quinoa and other grains are featured on our menus
4. SUSTAINABILITY….we only partner with vendors who have sustainability as a core value
Your greatest success as Owner/Operator of Reserve Cut?
My greatest success here at Reserve CUT is observing my guests, both regular and new, leave here with a smiles on their faces. I also LOVE that our guests choose Reserve Cut for their LIFE events…..weddings, proposals, bar/bat Mitzvah’s etc.
Your advice to an aspiring restaurateur?
Be TRUE to yourself and your beliefs.
Describe the ideal experience at your restaurant.
Seamless service. Deep sense of hospitality. PERFECT ingredients handled with respect, cooked honestly and well.
How do you motivate your employees?
DIGNITY & RESPECT……PRAISE & RECOGNITION. FAMILY!
What's next for Reserve Cut?
BRAND EXPANSION. The demand is there both in partnerships and market.