Zahav Becomes “Lamb Shack” for February

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Executive chef of Zahav, Michael Solomonov

Zahav, Michael Solomonov’s flagship restaurant famous for its authentic Israeli cuisine, is becoming a “Lamb  Shack” from February 6-28.

The lamb, which is “an entire bone-in Colorado shoulder braised with pomegranate juice and chickpeas into a melting mountain of meat like you’ve never experienced,” has become something of a cult favorite for Philly diners and critics, but has historically only been an option for parties of nine or more due to the several day preparation process it requires.

In response to the public demand for lamb, Solomonov has decided to offer only his famous pomegranate lamb for the month of February (and a vegetarian option for the less carnivorous.) The Lamb Shack menu is $36 per person, and includes hummus and tehina, house baked pita, salatim, and “whomping hunks” of pomegranate lamb.

Also, if getting to try some of the most sought after lamb in Philadelphia isn’t enough for you, Zahav is inviting guests to BYO for the entire month of February at no additional charge.

Zahav [Foobooz]

Dizengoff Is Doing Brunch This Sunday

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This Sunday, December 14th,Dizengoff is hosting a special brunch. Michael Solomonov’s hummusiya is getting eggy with a family-style meal for $26 per person.

The main attraction, at least to me is the promise of Shakshuka. Solomonov once served a Philly Cooks tour a rendition made by his contractor, cooked over an industrial heater and I’ve been hooked since.

The tickets are limited for the 10 a.m. brunch and only available on the CooknSolo website.

Read more »

Restaurant Review: Abe Fisher and Dizengoff

Photos by Jason Varney

Abe Fisher | Photos by Jason Varney

On the first evening of Rosh Hashanah this year, BuzzFeed posted a video called “The Jewish Food Taste Test.” In it, Gentiles sample iconic Ashkenazi dishes. Gefilte fish comes first. “It’s like a cold sausage with sour paste on the top,” one goy cringes. “I’m not quite sure what meat it is,” confesses a hoodie-clad Asian dude. A vaguely Nordic-looking hipster delivers the kicker: “It tastes like a grocery store smells.” Suffice it to say that these people were not eating the gefilte fish on offer at Abe Fisher.

Chef Yehuda Sichel, a longtime loyalist of Abe Fisher co-owner Michael Solomonov, stuffs rainbow trout with a delicately nutty forcemeat of striped bass, smoked trout, walnuts and matzo. After poaching the trout whole, he cuts them into what amount to three-inch-thick boneless steaks, crisps the skin, and glazes them with a sweet reduction of carrot juice and port wine. Smoked Hungarian pepper wafts from a slaw of carrot shreds and pickled raisins piled on one side. Underneath it all is a subtly mustardy puree of butter-roasted carrots, accented with horseradish—lest anyone complain that the “sour paste” is missing.

Read more about Abe Fisher and Dizengoff » 

Michael Solomonov and Marc Vetri on Being a Celebrity Chef in Philadelphia

Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov. Photograph by Dustin Fenstermacher

Marc Vetri and Michael Solomonov. Photograph by Dustin Fenstermacher

[Sitting in Vetri’s recently renovated upstairs private dining room]

Michael: Wow, look at this. I used to sleep on a cot in that corner.

Marc: Yeah, it used to be this crappy apartment.

PM: When Michael worked for you, Marc, did you notice his talent right away? Can you spot talent?

Marc: I used to think that I could really figure folks out when they walked into the kitchen. But after a certain amount of time — ya know, two months, three months — they can walk out and you never see them again. They leave their knife bag and everything. They are just gone. So I really don’t think I can say that anymore.

Michael: It’s a generational thing, because when you and I first met, there certainly wasn’t anything like that happening here. Read more »

SPOTTED: Questlove at Abe Fisher

Stopped by #AbeFisher during the @Forbes #30Under30Summit its a must experience if you like fine dining in #Philadelphia

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on


Questlove was back in his hometown yesterday for Forbes Under 30 Summit and stopped in for a meal at Abe Fisher. Questlove is quite the food aficionado also ate a fried chicken and waffle ice cream sandwich at the summit yesterday.

Abe Fisher [Foobooz]

How Israel Got Huge

Lunch rush at Dizengoff | Photo by Michael Persico

Lunch rush at Dizengoff | Photo by Michael Persico

You’ve got to understand something about Israeli cuisine right from the start: It’s not something that existed in the American consciousness a few years ago.

Really, it’s not something that exists there now. Not in most places. You’ll find a few spots in and around New York where Israeli dishes get to shine. And there have always been delis where you could get your brisket and your matzo ball soup, but that’s more about Jewish cuisine than it is Israeli. Like the thing about thumbs and fingers, all Israeli restaurants are Jewish but not all Jewish restaurants are Israeli.

Read more »

The Menu at Abe Fisher

abe-fisher-logoMichael Solomonov’s Abe Fisher will be opening on Tuesday, September 2nd. Co-owner Steven Cook says “everything from Montreal-style smoked meat and Ukrainian borscht to the American Jewish tradition of Chinese food on Christmas is fair game” for the restaurant that celebrates the Jewish Diaspora.

The Sansom Street restaurant next to Cook+Solo’s Dizengoff and across from Federal Donuts will have seating for 50 plus a full-service bar that seats ten. Two kitchen counter seats will offer a front row view of the action on the line. These seats will be available nightly for walk-in guests.

Read more »

Michael Solomonov in Esquire

solomonov-suaveMichael Solomonov has certainly been in the news lately. From his story of battling addiction in the New York Times to the buzz created by Rooster Soup Company and opening two new restaurants, the chef has been keeping a high profile.

And now he’s featured by Esquire in a feature of 22 men who are redefining style across America. Solomonov is shown wearing a Giorgio Armani wool suit at the Reading Terminal. We’re much more used to seeing Solomonov in chef whites or board shorts but have to admit, he cleans up nicely.

Another Philadelphia connection in the list, former Eagles linebacker and bow-tie enthusiast Dhani Jones makes the list.

22 Men Who Are Redefining Style Across America [Esquire]

Today: Michael Solomonov On The Radio

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WHYY’s Radio Times is bringing in Michael Solomonov today to talk about Israeli food, donuts, the loss of his brother and his recent admission that he was addicted to crack when he opened Zahav.

Marty Moss-Coane is giving Solomonov a full hour to chat, so the odds are good that we’re going to hear lots of stories both about how he got clean and how he’s been almost single-handedly responsible for bringing about a mini-boom in modern Israeli cuisine. So if you’re a Solo fan, tune in at 11am this morning and give the man a listen.

Michael Solomonov [Radio Times]
The Inimitable Michael Solomonov [Philly mag]

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