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‘Dizengoff’ Is Philly’s Newest Hummus Joint

Zahav owners offer their take on an Israeli-style hummusiya in Center City

Stephanie Butnick
August 12, 2014
Hummus at Dizengoff. (@AbeandDiz)
Hummus at Dizengoff. (@AbeandDiz)

Dizengoff, the brand new hummusiya from Zahav owners Steven Cook and Michael Solomonov, has opened in Philadelphia, Grub Street reports. Zahav, which Leah Koenig recently called “the unrivaled current champion of Philadelphia’s Jewish food scene,” is a well-established modern Israeli restaurant in Philly, so it makes sense the duo, known as CookNSolo, would want to branch out with something a little more casual.

“There will be great hummus along with some traditional garnishes and some new-wave ones,” Cook told Koenig in April. Right now their menu features tehina, corn, lamb, and matbucha.

Solomonov and Cook aren’t messing around—they’re also opening Abe Fisher, a restaurant devoted to Jewish diaspora cuisine, a few doors down from Dizengoff in Center City. In what is good news for Philadelphians but bad news for the rest of us, Koenig reports that the pair doesn’t plan on leaving the City of Brotherly Love anytime soon.

Solomonov has a prestigious James Beard Award under his belt. Cook, meanwhile, is a fellow chef (and rabbi’s son, not coincidentally) and successful restaurateur who has been at the helm of Philadelphia’s larger food renaissance for the last decade. They could easily take their act on the road but they prefer to keep things local. “We get asked all the time to open new Zahav locations in other cities, but we have so far resisted,” Cook explained. “We enjoy being in Philly. What we have here is special.”

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.