Zahav is an Israeli restaurant in the Society Hill neighborhood in Philadelphia. They are the same owners of the famed Federal Donuts, with locations around the city. L (my sis), A (my cousin) and I walked from her apartment for dinner during my last evening there last fall. We met my bro-in-law, MK, there. This is MK's favorite restaurant and I could see why.
I first saw Zahav on Anthony Bourdain's show, No Reservations, when he highlighted the city of Philadelphia. He told his viewers about this wonderful roasted lamb shoulder that Zahav serves every night, but only in limited quantities. My sis ensured that she made an early reservation so we can try it.
The roasted lamb shoulder is part of a Zahav dinner package called Mesibah for $54.00 a person. The package included an assortment of small salad plates (salatim), hummus with laffa (pita), small appetizer plates (mezze), and dessert.
Ready for the salatim? Here we go.... oh, yeah. Also, I just listed the names of the dishes below and did not describe every single one of them. I tried mostly all of them and I will say, that none of them disappointed. Everything that I tried was delicious.
Tomatoes / onions / red peppers
Carrots with parsley
Pickled green beans
Pickled white cabbage
Laffa - light, fluffy and warm
The chef brought out this delicious salad of kale, tahini, sliced pears and mushrooms. It was fresh and amazing. I loved the crunch of the fresh pears paired with the bitter greens.
The next dish was my ultimate favorite - cucumber, labneh cheese and tomatoes and Israeli seasonings.
The servers kept bringing more and more dishes, keeping our tummies satisfied and we waited for the big finale of the roasted lamb shoulder. Here are the small plates:
Kibbe Naya - raw lamb, corn, cucumber, mint, black garlic tahini, and bulgar wheat served with romaine lettuce leaves
I could have eaten the entire plate of this fried cauliflower dish. The sauce is labneh, chive, dill, mint, and garlic.
Smoked sable in challah bread, fried egg in the middle, with pickled green beans
Grilled haloumi cheese
Cobia crudo with beets, grapefruit and serrano chili
.....and now, for the grand finale...
Here it is, the roasted lamb shoulder with glazed pomegranate and chickpeas with the crispy rice.
Closer look at the crispy rice that complimented the succulent lamb very well.
We loved every single bite of it. It was meaty and flavorful. I loved the char from the caramelized glaze on the lamb. The chickpeas were also crispy from the glaze and provided great texture.
Then, we received our desserts....
Pistachio tart with blackberries and pine nuts
Coffee cream with whipped cream and blueberries
Olive oil cake
Lastly, the baklava with candied watermelon rind
This meal was certainly a special treat for all of us. We absolutely loved trying all the dishes here and the lamb was worth the wait. The service was impeccable. They also played a song from my favorite group of all time, A Tribe Called Quest, right before we left. The party was just getting started there. I will definitely be back here.
237 St. James Place
Philadelphia, PA 19106