Washington, DC – The Trump International Hotel in Washington DC is now offering a glatt kosher menu for its frum Jewish visitors. The menu includes full meals of fish, chicken and beef as well as snacks like Bamba and Bisli.
The hotel is also offering various types of kosher wines made in Israel and the US. The meals are served in sealed containers delivered to the hotel by a catering company in Potomac, Maryland.
Trump’s hotels have sparred with the frum public in the past over issues of kashrus. In 2013, Upper West Side resident Dan Miller spent $146 on a hot kosher meal at the Trump Soho hotel in New York and instead received a cold turkey sandwich without a kashrus seal. Despite his complaints, hotel staff insisted that the meal was kosher even after he reminded them that his food should be double-wrapped until it was delivered and the sandwich was only covered with a single seran wrap.
Miller was still suspicious but staff members assured him that it was purchased at the well-known glatt kosher Noah’s Ark Restaurant, located on Grand Street. Yet after Miller called Noah’s Ark, he was shocked to learn that the deli hadn’t made any deliveries to the luxury hotel that day and that hotel officials had lied to him and given him a treife sandwich instead.
Miller later sued the hotel both for providing him with a non-kosher sandwich and for lying to him about what the sandwich contained.
However Trump International’s managing director Michael Damelincourt hopes to provide another option for frum Jews residing in Washington, as presently there is only one other restaurant in the capital serving glatt kosher food.
Damelincourt explained that he is married to a Jewish woman and found it difficult to find good kosher food whenever he travelled.
“We saw the lack of good quality kosher wines and meals in luxury hotels,” Damelincourt told the Jerusalem Post. “When you go to New York, you have many options. When you go to Long Island, you have many, many options. But in DC, there was nothing. So, we saw the opportunity.”
“We had many guests from New York staying here that would come in for business meetings, and they wanted to get something to eat, but felt uncomfortable,” Damelincourt explained, adding that the hotel had conducted extensive research to understand current food trends in the frum community.
Hotel food and beverage director Daniel Mahdavian said that he is planning a visit to Israel to learn more about Israeli street food as well as discovering high-class Israeli wines to bring to the hotel. He also wants to invite some famous Israeli chefs to provide their unique input on the menus served at the hotel.
In the meantime, the hotel reports that the word is out and that they are already serving several kosher meals a day. The price is still pretty steep, with main courses going for over $100 apiece, but when there are few other options, people might still be willing to pay for high-quality kosher food.