Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review: Zahav

This review is a bit overdue, as I ate at Zahav during restaurant week in January.  So, a lot overdue.  Paul, our restaurant reviewer extraordinare, has a "policy" against restaurant week, so I went out with some ladies from work for a civilized, affordable meal.  

Briefly, the highlights:  The service was excellent.  We had a nice, chatty waiter who shared some nice stories with us about the origin of some of the more unfamilliar menu items, including a egg that is cooked in coffee. (Unfortunately for him, one of my fellow diners spent a few years living in Israel, and she claimed his story was incorrect.  But at least he tried.)   The menu was extremely generous for a Restaurant week offering: hummus or a salad salatim, or sampler, 2 mezze per person, a main, and a dessert.  4 courses over the usual 3.  

Because there were 3 of us, we got to sample a wide selection of the offered menu.  The Hummus was excellent and came with lovely house made bread called laffa.  The salad sampler had tiny portions of 8 different salads, which gave us a small but tasty bite of each. 

 After the appetizers, the meal fell flat.  The restaurant highlighted it's mezze selection: the portions were generous and they were executed competetly.  The haloumi was good, as were the borekas. The fried kibbeh was a bit over-fried. When my entree, a lamb skewer, arrived, it looked tiny. The accompanying "israeli couscous" was a joke. Overall, things were mildly seasoned, which was unexpected.  

When dessert came, I got a lemon poppyseed cake that was slightly burned on top.  It was served with lemon curd and cucumber sorbet.  I love cucumber in all forms- rum, gelato, plain, but this sorbet was too tart and didn't taste essentially of cucumber- something was off.  I had to push it aside.  

The food was solid, and better than most I have had at restaurant week, but nothing spectacular. If this is a real measure of the place, (which is seems to be based on what I have read), it disappoints.  With all the hype surrounding Zahav, I'm glad I tried it, and I don't regret spending the $35.  However, I won't be returning soon to pay full price.

Zahav on Urbanspoon

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