Read This Now: Israeli Cuisine In The Spotlight

Photo courtesy Collin Keefe, TheDrinkNation.com

Photo courtesy Collin Keefe, TheDrinkNation.com

So the good folks over at Food Republic had an interesting idea: 5 editors, 5 world cuisines, 5 days, with each day’s focus being stories about (or inspired by) a single cuisine about which the editors wanted to learn more.

Yesterday, it was Japanese food. Today, it’s Israeli, with a bunch of stories all being done by Matt Rodbard. And one of those stories happens to be all (well, half) about Michael Solomonov, Zahav, and Solo’s two upcoming restaurants–which, of course, is why I noticed it in the first place.

Not just that Solomonov got a mention. It’s not like I’m stalking the guy or anything. But being a non-Philly writer writing about things Philadelphian, Rodbard got taken to task for a (slightly) clumsy line he included which some readers took as a slight against Philadelphia. It wasn’t, actually, but it did ruffle enough feathers that I–as the man who once went all kinds of apeshit over Matt Duckor characterizing Philadelphians as a bunch of jug-blowing knuckleheads and fatties who didn’t know enough to wear our good overalls out to a fancy dinner at the Olive Garden–was looped into the Twitter conversation.

Here’s what Rodbard actually said

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]

About Last Night: Smoke Meets Spice at Percy Street

smoke-meets-spice-percy-street-940

Last night Erin O’Shea and Michael Solomonov welcomed Lior Lev Sercarz to Percy Street for a very special dinner. Even though I quickly jumped on tickets to the event I wasn’t prepared for just how much great food would be offered.

Lior Lev Secarz is referred to as the “spice whisperer.” His blends of spice make it into the food at Zahav and onto donuts at Federal Donuts. Last night his spices magically mixed with the food coming from O’Shea’s kitchen.

The dinner in photos » 

Spice Dinner Is Coming to Percy Street

SpiceMeetsSmoke1On Tuesday, January 14th at 7 p.m., Percy Street Barbecue is hosting a special dinner with chef/owner Erin O’Shea collaborating with Zahav’s Michael Solomonov and master spice blender Lior Lev Sercarz of La Boîte Epice in New York City. You’ve come across these spices at Zahav and in many of Federal Donuts’ donuts and fried chicken.

The three-course dinner will be served family-style and each course will be paired with a drink featuring beer from Brooklyn Brewery. The price is $60 per person, which includes the beverage pairing, tax and gratuity.

Among the highlights, biscuits with foie gras butter, pork and lobster  machleb sausage and a smoked lamb shank.

Full menu » 

Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov Opening Two New Restaurants

 

Photo by Steve Legato

Photo by Steve Legato

Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov who have gifted us with Federal Donuts, Percy Street Barbecue and Zahav have two new restaurants planned for early 2014. Both will open opposite Federal Donuts on the 1600 block of Sansom Street.

Dizengoff, a casual hummusiya will offer varieties of hummus with fresh pita, condiments and pickles. The 25-seat space will offer a select beer list and be open seven days a week. The restaurant is named for Dizengoff Street, a major Tel Aviv boulevard and the restaurant will be modeled after the hummus spots found all over Israel.

Abe Fisher promises to be “an approachable restaurant serving the cuisine of the Jewish diaspora.” Solomonov says the food will be inspired by “the foods and dishes found in the Jewish communities outside of Israel, from Montreal and New York, to France, Hungary and Italy.”

Read more »

Federal Donuts Coming to University City

Federal Donuts - Ryan LavineMichael Klein confirms what a Foobooz commenter posted a few weeks ago. Federal Donuts is coming to Sansom Street in University City. The new space will be next to Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House at 3428 Sansom Street. Steven Cook says “We are thrilled to announce that we will bring our tasty donuts, fried chicken and exceptional coffee to the University of Pennsylvania campus when we open our third Federal Donuts location at 3428 Sansom Street in early 2014.” Cook co-owns Federal Donuts along with Michael Solomonov, Tom Henneman, Bob Logue and Felicia D’Ambrosio.

Also confirmed in Klein’s piece is that another Federal Donuts will indeed open at 7th and Fairmount.

Federal Donuts opening in University City, North Philly [The Insider]

The Revisit: Citron & Rose

Photo: liz spikol

Photo: liz spikol

Best Milkshake, Best Bar Snack, Best Wine List at a Beer Bar, Best Homage To an Iconic Philly Food… It would be hard to argue that there weren’t enough awards in Philly Mag’s 2013 “Best of Philly” issue. We gave out 286 in all. But for me, the most interesting was the one I came to think of as number 287:

Best Evidence That God Looks After His Own.

Because isn’t that really what made Citron & Rose the most compelling restaurant opening of the past year? Sure, we could have slapped a Best Kosher Restaurant label on the place. But talk about a backhanded compliment. You might as well tell people, “Yep, if you’ve truly got no other option, that’s the place to go.”

No, what distinguished C&R was that it was good, period. Here was kosher food that anybody would want to eat.

Read more »

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]

The Man Behind Citron and Rose

MagermanPhillymag

Ever wonder what really drove the split between partners Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook and notable rich person David Magerman at Citron and Rose on the Mainline?

See, 44-year-old David Magerman doesn’t generally approve of how other people spend his money. So he’s stopped producing movies, let go of one of the hottest chefs in America, and basically given the finger to the most powerful entity in Jewish Philadelphia—at least a few times. Beneath the overt tension between Magerman and his adopted community, however, lies an internal tension. Spiritual, philanthropic millionaire David, it turns out, might not be ready to say goodbye to cocky, hedge-fund millionaire David.

You can read all about Magerman, what makes him tick, and why he decided to sever ties with one of the best-known and most successful chefs in Philly in favor of catering bar mitzvahs over at phillymag.com.

The Controversial David Magerman [phillymag]

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