Michael Solomonov and The Search for Israeli Cuisine

If you follow Zahav owner and chef Michael Solomonov on Instagram you know he’s been eating his way around Israel recently. It’s all part of a two-hour documentary he’s filming, called The Search for Israeli Cuisine. The PBS documentary is being filmed by two-time Academy Award nominee and James Beard Award winning filmmaker Roger Sherman

Above is the latest teaser from the project.

Zahav [Foobooz]
The Search for Israeli Cuisine [Florentine Films]

Michael Solomonov Filming Documentary on Israeli Cuisine

Zahav chef and co-owner, Michael Solomonov will be filming a two-hour documentary called The Search for Israeli Cuisine. Solomonov will be followed around Israel by  two-time Academy Award nominee and James Beard Award winning filmmaker Roger Sherman. The documentary will air on PBS in 2014.

Check out the preview above to get a feel for what the film will be about and for just how rich Israel’s food scene is.

The Search for Israeli Cuisine [Florentine Films]

A Very Jewish Christmas

On Wednesday, December 22nd Zahav is hosting “A Very Jewish Christmas” complete with Chinese food and a movie.

The $50 per person dinner will include Israeli-inflected Chinese food and early 80′s movies shown on a big screen. As chef Michael Solomonov noted, “Growing up Jewish, it’s hard not to feel left out at Christmas time, so my family and I observed the tradition of many Jewish families: enjoying Chinese take-out and watching a favorite movie instead. This meal is a silly send-up of that custom, a fond ‘welcome home’ to Jewish guests, and a great way for those who celebrate Christmas to get a feel for what the day often holds for the rest of us.”

The menu will include:

  • Wonton Soup with Yemenite curry and veal dumplings
  • Lamb Egg Rolls with pine nuts, dates and amba
  • Salt & Pepper Squid with zhoug powder
  • Cold Sesame Noodles with black tehina and shrimp
  • Persian Fried Rice with smoked pork belly
  • Cashew Chicken with Moroccan flavors
  • Mushroom & Tofu Hot Pot with eggplant al ha’esh and black bean sauce
  • Top-secret Happy Ending dessert (PG-rated)

Full Menu (PDF)

Zahav [Official Site]

Passover at Zahav

From March 29th to April 6th Zahav will be offering a special Passover menu for $42 per person. The roasted matzah balls in black garlic broth and coffee braised brisket sound especially appetizing.


Zahav [Official Site]

Zahav, the New Momofuku


The New York Post praises Zahav as the new Momofuku, citing chef Michael Solomonov’s ability to take traditional dishes to new highs.

Michael Solomonov does for Israeli cooking what David Chang does for Asian cooking: He transforms traditional, not-so-exciting dishes, using one-of-a-kind creative flourishes and unlikely flavor combinations. And in doing so, Solomonov’s restaurant Zahav creates food that simultaneously tastes familiar and unlike anything you’ve ever eaten. A simply prepared salad with Israeli persimmon (sweet), Bulgarian feta (creamy), green olives (salty) and endive (bitter). Duck hearts with chicken-liver dirty rice. A spicy and tart Moroccan fish stew with tomatoes and peppers. This is modern comfort food at its finest. At $36 for five courses, it’s a steal too. Solomonov recently opened a barbecue restaurant, with proper versions of Texas brisket and ribs. Yes, that’s right: One Israeli restaurant, one pork-a-palooza. No rules, no limits? Works for us (237 Saint James Place, 215-625-8800).

8 culinary adventures for 2010 [New York Post]
Zahav [Official Site]

Tonight, Zahav for $36

Zahav deservedly received lots of praise for its Restaurant Week menu but did you know the modern Israeli restaurant offers a  similar deal on Monday nights for $36. Ta’Yim, Salatim and Hummus, choice of three plates and choice of dessert will set you back just $36.

Plaza Seating For Zahav

View Zahav Plaza in a larger map

Zahav and the Society Hill Towers are working together to allow Zahav to add outdoor seating in the Society Hill Towers Shopping Plaza. Zahav is looking to start patio service as soon as possible but has to work out a number of logistical issues first.

For those unfamiliar with the layout of the area, the roof-topped plaza backs up to Zahav along St. James Place and is home to a number of merchants and previously to a small super market.

Zahav Turns One


Zahav has been piling up the accolades, Food & Wine, Esquire, Bon Appetit and most recently, Philadelphia Magazine named it the top restaurant. All this before turning a year old.

On Wednesday, May 20th the Israeli restaurant is throwing itself an anniversary party. Starting at 8pm there will be live Middle Eastern music, belly dancing and $5 all you can eat hummus and laffa. plus drink deals like $3 Goldstars and $5 Lemonnanas.

Zahav [Official Site]

Zahav Gets Food & Wine Top Dish

Food magazines just love Zahav. Philly Mag gave it “Best New Restaurant.” Bon Appetit included the Israeli restaurant in its “Hot 10 Summer Blockbusters,” Esquire named Michael Solomonov’s latest to its “Best New Restaurants of 2008″ and now Food & Wine includes Zahav in its “Best Restaurant Dishes of 2008.”

Yep, Zahav’s fried cauliflower with lebneh is one of the top ten dishes the editors of F&W have tasted all year. Kristin Donnelly has the details in the December issue.

My favorite was the cauliflower florets, fried until sweet and caramelized. Crisp enough to pick up with your fingers, they’re a terrific bar snack, served over a pool of tangy, dill-flecked lebneh (a thick, creamy yogurt) for dipping.

Zahav [Official Site]
Food & Wine, December 2008 Contents [Food & Wine]

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