Zahav Lives Up To The Hype
Adam Erace visits Zahav and enjoys a restaurant that meets the hype.
Roast chicken is done justice with an air-chilled Canadian bird, 24-hour brine, zaâ€™atar massage and 15 minutes over open coals. The result is juicy and crispy in all the right places, with sumac onions and tangy green tehina keeping your tongue at attention.
Served for two, the whole chicken is one of three entree choices for the pre-fixe Mesibah (â€œParty Timeâ€) menu. Salatim (â€œsaladsâ€) kick off the par-tay, seven Israeli tapas that range from everyday (sauteed potatoes, mushy eggplant) to inspired (cuminy Moroccan carrots and candy-sweet roasted red peppers). Hummus follows, then two mezes of the kitchenâ€™s choosing, entree and dessert. Request the New School, a blockbuster of fried shredded phyllo, labneh ice cream, pistachios, Valrhona chocolate and kumquat syrup. Itâ€™s as innovative as this motherland tribute getsâ€”except on Thursday nights when Solomonov does a modern Israeli menu in the Quarter, the restaurantâ€™s 24-seat private dining room.