Chef Michael Gershkovich was born in Rome, Italy in 1974 to Russian parents on their way to the United States. He grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn as a part of an orthodox Jewish family. He attended Torat Emet Yeshiva, an extremely strict religious school in Brooklyn. Like many young men in his community, he was expected to settle into a life of work and study that conformed to traditions thousands of years in the making. Every so often, however, one sheep strays from the flock to find greener pastures. In this case, he decided to bring the whole flock with him.
Michael went to the famed Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York. At the CIA, Mike saw and tasted many different cuisines. He mastered techniques from around the world, always with a mind to bend them to his own purposes. As he continued his education, traveling and working through California’s Napa Valley and in Hawaii, he developed and refined his style as a chef. The more he learned, the more he realized that virtually all of his culinary repertoire was possible even under the strict standards of Kosher law. So he decided to bring his people a taste of the world, he decided to redraw the fence line.
After a few years honing his skills back in New York City, Mike began to plan his offering to the community. With a little help from his friends and family, he built Mike’s Bistro, a showcase for his cuisine. The restaurant is simple and elegant, refined and relaxed. You can wear jeans or a suit, you can drink beer or champagne. Truly, it is all about the food. This is food your mother would make if she were a classically trained chef. The cuisine is grounded yet manages to be interesting enough to demand multiple visits.
Visiting this restaurant is like coming over to Mike’s house for dinner. Family is everywhere, welcoming you at the door, cooking your food, serving your drinks. Mike visits as many tables as he can each evening, mostly to talk about the food. This is his dream come true, his passion and his life. The fences have been rebuilt, and this grass is definitely greener.