When in Philly, Eat at Zahav

Last month I traveled to Philadelphia for a couple of days and I ate some amazing food. The most noteworthy was dinner at Zahav, a modern Israeli restaurant from Chef Michael Solomonov. I had made my reservation weeks in advance, but the earliest time I could get was 9:30pm. I figured it wouldn’t be too bad on my first evening there since I would still be adjusting from West Coast time.  

We were a party of three which I thought was the perfect number of people to share plates with. We ordered the tasting menu which allowed us to try almost everything on the menu. The restaurant is known for their laffa bread and hummus. It was my first time trying laffa bread, which is a middle eastern bread cooked in a wood fire taboon oven. To me it was crisper and had a lot more character than pita bread. The hummus at Zahav was out of this world. It was creamy and nutty with an abundance of flavor.  

Our meal came with six vegetable salads and felt like an Israeli version of banchan. They were all really good and similarly when I eat Korean food, it’s fun to have a variety to pick on.  
We each got to choose two small plates so that ended up being six different ones for us to share. I’ll share my top three mezze plates. I really enjoyed the quinoa salad with fresh peas. I loved the textures and the herbs.  
Cauliflower has become one of the most popular vegetables and the fried variety at Zahav should not be missed.
I was excited about the haloumi as soon as I saw it on the menu. The combination of crispiness and saltiness of the cheese puts me in a happy state. 
We each got to choose a main plate which are all grilled over coals. They were all amazing as well. We ordered the lamb, the hanger steak, and the Branzino.   
The desserts were creative and quite exotic. We ordered the coconut cream konafi, the chocolate olive oil cake, and the malabi custard which had orange, walnut, and saffron.  
This meal at Zahav was all around amazing and an experience for the palette.  I can’t wait for my next trip to Philly!

Advertisements

Philly: Not Just Cheesesteaks

My time in Downtown Philadelphia lasted less than 36 hours, but I still managed to have two great dinners. Both were in the Rittenhouse district.

I had to solely use and trust yelp because my last trip to Philly was many years ago and I didn’t have a lasting impression in terms of food. Yelp really came through again.

My colleague and I arrived in time for dinner Friday night. I found a British pub called The Dandelion. The restaurant is beautiful with various rooms that were themed. I call our room the “horse room,” as there were paintings of horses throughout.
20131103-220729.jpg
As an appetizer, my colleague and I shared a pint of prawns which came with cocktail sauce and a lemon mayonnaise sauce. A pint equates to about ten large plump shrimp. The prawns come from the Gulf of Mexico and were super sweet.
20131103-221038.jpg
I ordered the popular dish from London, beer battered fish and chips. It was a nice filet of cod that was coated and fried to perfection. The batter was crunchy and the fish was flakey, and melted in my mouth. It looked as if each order of fries was one large russet potato that was sliced thickly. They call it triple cooked. I call it triple good.
20131103-221325.jpg
My colleague ordered the burger. The photos we saw on yelp looked great. She ordered a well done burger so I was not thinking too much of it. I did have a small bite and thought it remained juicy and was quite flavorful. She enjoyed it very much.
20131103-221426.jpg
For dessert, we shared the sticky toffee pudding. The moist cake was drenched in a toffee rum sauce topped with date ice cream. We both enjoyed it although we were quite full.
20131103-221456.jpg
Last night’s dinner was at Luke’s Lobster. my colleague and I shared the “Taste of Maine” menu which included half a crab roll, shrimp roll, lobster roll, a bag of Cape Cod chips, a gourmet soda, and a pickle. For an extra $2, we got two lobster claws. We also added two soups, the clam chowder and the lobster bisque. I felt like I was in seafood heaven.
20131103-220910.jpg
I couldn’t imagine two better meals on this trip to Philadelphia. I definitely have some lasting impressions this time around.