JoeDoe, Joe Dobias, Jill Schulster, Restaurant, East Village, Aggressive American Cuisine, Where to eat in New York, Manhattan, Chefs Recommendations, Where the chefs eat in New York, Duck Eggs, 10003, Market Driven, Farm to Table, Seasonal, local, Restaurants with a point of view



Chef Joe Dobias’ and Jill Schuster’s recommendations  on where to eat and drink in Manhattan.


The husband and wive team of Joe Dobias and Jill Schulster have created a restaurant with a specific point of view. They love to serve things their own way and there’s something honest about that approach. They continue to build relationships with farmers in support of their “Aggressive American” menu (see below for their definition) and chef Joe Dobias works to put his own creative twists on dishes. Jill not only works the floor, but has put her own creative touch on the restaurant with inspired “Prepared Beers” - cocktails. We found out what inspires the couple and where they like to eat and drink on their nights off.

Q. You describe your cooking as “Aggressive American.” Can you give us an idea of how that translates into menu items?

A. We came up with 'Aggressive American' because we were tired of all the 'seasonal' and 'farm-to-table' titles.  Yes, I use all farm-raised product, but I put my own stamp on dishes with bright, bold flavors, and lots of spice. It also refers to the fearless approach of using many cultures of food in one menu. 'Aggressive American' is an overall style that's seen throughout my menu, it is NOT fusion. 

Q. Your menus, both food and drink, are focused on creativity? What do you use for inspiration?

A. First and foremost my friends and family...the Jewish influence comes from my desire to impress Jill's parents. (She is Jewish and I am not).  Also, I draw a lot of creativity from the Lower East Side and the East Village. NYC is a very easy place to gain global inspiration. 

Q. You are known for giving your customers a choice of duck or chicken eggs on your brunch menu? How many takers do you get for the duck eggs? Why should customers give the duck eggs a try?

A. We thought it would be very unique to divide the brunch menu into 'chicken eggs' and 'duck eggs.'  No other restaurant in NYC uses duck eggs like we do. In fact, my farmer John, from Mt. View Farm, had to buy more ducks to satisfy my demand! JoeDoe customers go crazy for our duck eggs!

Duck eggs are more rich and unctuous and they have a slight gaminess that people used to remember when all chickens were free range. Originally, duck eggs were the predominant egg in this country...until mass produced chicken eggs were introduced. I think the duck egg is the true American egg. 

Q. What ingredients inspire you? As the seasons change, what gets you excited each season?

A. I love esoteric ingredients. Not in the sense of using them for the 'shock value'...they inspire me more because they force me to creatively use something that not everyone else will use.  (For example, Lamb Fries ....lamb's testicles).  And yes, animals are seasonal. My farmers only slaughter their animals during the growing season. This leaves you with a longing for certain products and also will again challenge the chef to improve their menu. 

Q. What are some cocktails you’re currently experimenting with and how far are you willing to go with ingredients?

A. Jill: Currently, I am working with local strawberries because they are in season. I'm not a 'sweet cocktail' type of girl. It’s a challenge to me to make a strawberry cocktail on the savory side.  As far as ingredients go, I'm not afraid to use anything!  I currently use Old Bay, smoked salt, Lawry's Seasoned Salt, and I have used things like turmeric, ketchup, and mustard... yeah I know. But my ultimate goal is balance. If it’s not balanced, I won’t serve it.


Q. What interesting small production liquors have you found to complement your local point of view?

A. Jill: At JoeDoe we use all small-batch hand made spirits. I loooooove DH Krahn Gin and LIV Vodka. DH Krahn Gin has really nice citrus, ginger notes and not a strong juniper berry flavor, which makes it unique. LIV Vodka is made from potatoes, and has a complex 'mouth feel.’ I like interesting flavors and textures, both compliment Joe's unique style of cooking. 

Q. Any interesting tools you use when making cocktails?

A. Jill: I’m a dancer and my mother gave me a PedEgg for my feet and it turns out to be an excellent zester for lemons and limes. Of course, the one behind the bar isn’t the same one I use on my feet!

Q. How did you arrive at the sandwich known as “The Conflicted Jew?”

A. Joe: It was a two part process. First was me trying to figure out how to use excess bacon and challah from brunch. At the time, we were serving 'chopped liver truffles' on our dinner menu, which I thought was brilliant, but nobody would order it!  One day, to twist a Jewish tradition of eating chopped liver along with the love for bacon, the Conflicted Jew was born. It shows the ‘aggressive American’ style perfectly... it forces ingredients together. The forcing was done though with the intention of elevating all of the mixed cultural levels to new heights. 


Q. assembled a list of the Top 10 Restaurant Industry Freakouts of 2009. You had the honor of being included. Can you tell us about this so-called “feud” between you and the blogosphere?

A. I am unsure of what Eater is? In general, with the introduction of food blogs, it has created a gray area as far as credibility. Anyone with a 'mouth' can eat food and anyone in turn can write about it. The problem is that people write irresponsibly. How can anyone trust anyone else's opinion of a restaurant if they have only eaten their once?? Bloggers need to remember that it is someone’s livelihood they are writing about... and there wouldn't be 'food blogs' without restaurants. 

I'm glad I made the list and if they ever come back to my place, I have a lobster for them... maybe that will get me number one! Haha? 


Q. Feeding New Yorkers must have its challenges, how do you keep your restaurant fresh in a city with so much competition and many jaded diners always looking for the next hot place?

A. JoeDoe is about food. Those looking for a scene can go elsewhere. And they do!

We like to give an entire experience at JoeDoe. Food, service, ambiance - if someone is only looking to be surrounded by certain people, then they will never appreciate our place.

We keep JoeDoe fresh and new by changing the menu every couple of days, and reminding ourselves that if we stay true to our vision, people will continue to appreciate us. In NYC, it is about finding "your diners" if you stay small, but if you grow into a mini chain, you'll need to serve ALL diners. We opened a "slow burn" place on purpose, we are looking to build a reputation, not be the next 5min concept. 


Q. Any new projects in the near future?

A. Jill and I are working on a sandwich shop. This summer we are going to start doing tastings.

Q. Which purveyors have products that inspire your creativity? 

A. Mt. View Farm- all pork at JoeDoe comes from here, and our duck eggs. 

Jill likes Tomm's Hand Crafted tonic.  It’s the perfect bitter note to balance any cocktail. 

Not Pat LaFreida like everyone else.....

Q. Where are great places to go for well-concocted cocktails and what should we order? 

A. We like Pegu, Mayahuel, and Phil at Daddy O's makes some killer drinks.   

Q. Are there food markets around the world that you love and why? 

A. We are young and haven’t had the opportunity to travel. Jill and I would like to go to Spain, the Basque Country. 

Q. Who else in your field is doing interesting things that you think should deserve more praise?

A. Andrew D'Ambrosi. You might know him from Top Chef, but he is currently the chef of the Norwood Club on 14th street. His food is unexpected and he is very talented. He needs to get outta the private club scene. I have tons of respect for the "young artisanal" set of chefs/producers, those driven by product and not by dividends for their investors.

Q. On your much needed days off, where do you love to eat (other than your own home) and what do you love about these places?

A. Daddy O's for a GREAT burger.

Crispo for carbonara.

Ditch Plains for the Ditch Dog.

Blue Ribbon Sullivan Street for the raw bar.

Zucco (RIP Zucco) for mussels.

Degustation for the tasting menu.

These places all satisfy our love for great food, in an unpretentious atmosphere. 

Q. Places great for late night?  

A. Village Yokocho on 9th street. Because pork kimchee with a cold Asahi is heavenly. 

Q. Places worth going out of your way to eat at (anywhere in the world, casual or fancy)? 

A. Any open air "beach bar" type dining. Growing up on long Island, I think that we will forever associate shellfish and the beach with relaxation. 

Q. What are the iconic New York foods to eat and where are the authentic places should people go to eat those dishes?

A. Russ and Daughters for smoked fish.

Jill is obsessed with her local bagel shop on Long Island, and nothing compares in her mind!

Joe's in Greenwich Village for pizza - though not as old as some places or as trendy as the slew of new-comers - it is as 'New York' a slice of pizza as you can find. 


East Village


45 East 1st Street

New York, NY 10003 (view map)

T: 212.780.0262 (make a reservation)



Mon - Thu: 5:30pm - 11pm

Fri: 6pm - 12am

Sat: 11am - 4pm, 6pm - 12am

Sun: 11am - 4pm, 6pm - 10pm


Chef Joe Dobias’ and Jill Schuster’s recommendations  on where to eat and drink in Manhattan.