One of the most seductive restaurants I know, pulsating with the energy of contemporary Israel's vibrant dining culture, is tucked away in Philadelphia's Society Hill neighborhood. Zahav is utterly transporting, with filigreed lanterns illuminating tawny sandstone walls, and a bustling open kitchen. Chef-owner Michael Solomonov, who was born outside of Tel Aviv, serves lusty, full-flavored dishes reflecting Israel's polyglot cuisine. Hunks of foie gras laced on a skewer, Hungarian-style, are grilled until melting; warming oxtail soup, seasoned to the hilt with turmeric, cumin, and black pepper, is a Yemenite classic. And I love what Solomonov does with hummus (pictured). Luxurious with tahini and olive oil, it seems all the more velvety in contrast with the tangle of crisp hen of the woods mushrooms on top.
237 Saint James Place