What To Eat During Center City Restaurant Week, Part 2: Zahav

Zahav Interior

It’s that time again. Center City Restaurant Week is nearly upon us, and in order to help you, the loyal Foobooz readers, get the most bang for your buck, we’ve combed through all the menus being offered by the 100-plus restaurants participating this year and come up with a few ideal meals for you to consider. And today, we’ve got…

Zahav: It Takes A Village

Okay, so I’m just saying make your reservations now, okay? We clear? Zahav is not the kind of place you’re going to just be able to walk into on any night during the next two weeks and expect to get anything but the stink-eye from the staff. The place is going to be busy, is what I’m saying. But there’s a reason for that. Of all the 100-some restaurants participating in this year’s Restaurant Week, Zahav is both one of the most popular and likely the one place that’s best prepared for being able to handle the onslaught coming their way.

Why? Because they handle serious crowds every single day. Also because the kitchen’s Restaurant Week menu is essentially identical to the menu they serve every other week. Like Barbuzzo yesterday, Zahav is offering four courses rather than the standard three (including one in which you’re offered two choices), and the list of options is large. If you’ve got plans at any point to go out with a group, Zahav is where you want to plant your team flag. Bring a party of four and, with a little sharing, you can eat virtually everything that’s great on the menu, all for $35 a head.

Let’s take a look at how the menu breaks down.

Restaurant Week 2013: Zahav

For The Table: Things start off here in classic style, with a selection of salads (not Sizzler-style salads, you hogs, but tiny, refined, composed salads) from the kitchen and a hummus-tehina platter. It’s kinda like that thing at buffets where they always put out eleven different kinds of bread to try and make you fill up before getting to the giant shrimp fountain, so be careful. But remember that all of the following courses will be coming to you whether you can eat them or not.

First course: There are 12 (!) options for the first course–everything from pumpkin soup with crispy lentils to grilled duck hearts–and every single person gets to choose two. This is where a team strategy will really come into play because if you figure on skipping both the raw and the baked kibbe, maybe the soup, and then one other thing (the haloumi?), four of you can load down the table with house-smoked sable served with challah and a fried egg, fried cauliflower, sweetbread schnitzel, tuna confit with black olives and potatoes, marinated brussels sprouts dusted with sumac, cured salmon with pickled watermelon rind, grilled duck hearts and beef cheek pastilla with braised greens. All of that and you haven’t even made it to the mains yet.

Second course: The duck kabobs with ground pistachios and saffron or the Merguez sausage with figs and shallots? The quail and collards or the salmon shishlik over spicy tomato stew? There is almost no way you can go wrong here, but if you and your friends are out to get Solomonov’s greatest hits, having all of those four would be a nice way to start.

Third course: Time for dessert, and if you’re still hungry, there are five options, running the gamut from Halvah mousse with chickpea praline (really?) to chocolate-almond cigars with chocolate mousse and stewed cherries. But to truly end the night right, be the first and loudest at your table and call dibs on the pistachio cake with pear caramel. It’s a serious winner, and once you’ve locked it down you can just go and taste everyone else’s desserts while they’re envying you your speed and decisiveness.

Restaurant Week Guide [Foobooz]

Center City Restaurant Week [Official]