Aging Expectations

Let’s Eat: Zahav, Philadelphia

zahavDuring our recent date night in Philadelphia, Michael made reservations at Zahav. It’s been noted as one of the top, trendy restaurants in the city. Even getting four bells from The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Craig LaBan, which is a pretty big deal around town.

Zahav is a restaurant specializing in Israeli cuisine and wines. Very interesting, right?

Here’s how it went…


Zahav is in the Society Hill area. We arrived a few minutes before our reservation and hoped to get a drink at the bar. Unfortunately, the bar was packed. And, not with people just drinking. Every seat was taken by people eating dinner.

Sitting at the bar to eat just doesn’t appeal to me. Am I getting old or what?

The place was very trendy and very loud in the main room. It has an open kitchen concept, which I think is always fun.

The hostess was extremely nice. She showed us a bench by the door and offered to get us drinks from the bar. We looked over the drink menu and finally decided what we wanted but the hostess was ready to seat us…perfect.

She showed us to our table in a smaller room of the restaurant. It’s probably reserved for older people because it’s more quiet. I was happy we were there. It’s official, I’m old.

Our waitress was very friendly as well and explained the menu. She answered all our questions with ease. This is my favorite type of place to eat. They have smaller plates that you share among your group. I love that.

Side note: If you hate to share your food, we shouldn’t go to dinner together because I always want a taste of whatever I don’t have. That means…something from your plate! If you’re into sharing, let’s plan to grab a bite together!

We started with the Salatim and Hummus with laffa platter. Our waitress suggested the large size based on our other selections.

Salatim are salads, which change on a daily basis. They were okay. Honestly, I didn’t love any of them.

hummusThe good part: it also came with an AMAZING hummus. They offer a variety of hummus. We tried the Turkish Hummus, served warm with grilled garlic and…butter. It was extraordinary. We each got our own little pot of it and the laffa (bread) they served with it was just as good.

The bad part: it was filling. I wished we would have shared one pot of it.

Our next dish was duck hearts. LOVED IT! If you haven’t tried duck hearts, don’t be squeamish, they are fabulous.

We then had Merguez (ground lamb, sour cherry, shallots, cilantro), then the Hanger Steak, and finally the Striped Bass.

I really liked the Hanger Steak, my husband didn’t love it. My husband really liked the Striped Bass, I didn’t love it. We both disliked the Meguez. We didn’t get dessert because we were so full.

zahavchefHere’s what I loved:

  • the hummus
  • the duck hearts (you MUST try them)
  • the service
  • the sharing concept

Here’s what I liked:

  • the atmosphere
  • the Hanger Steak

Here’s what I didn’t love:

  • the Salatim
  • the Meguez
  • the Striped Bass

So, it wasn’t the best place ever. It was a fun night though.

Have you been? What do you think?



  1. We have been to Zahav 3-4 times and we absolutely love it. The food, especially the veggies, are well seasoned and innovatively prepared. The hummus is the best that I have ever tasted. The wine selection is intriguing and the service is flawless. One of my favorites in Philly.
    Briana O. Burris recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

  2. Zahav- the zenith of delicious middle eastern food!My boyfriend and I did not make reservations in time, but we were able to get seats at the bar. The bartender (Luke) was delightful and gave good food recommendations when asked. Even when I had a drink spilled all over me, he was very accommodating-giving towels and making another drink for me.I think this was the first meal where we both pretty much polished off every plate for each course. The turkish hummus is the best, warm and served in a separate dish. The haloumi cheese mezze was delicious as usual, and we also enjoyed the mushroom konafi dish. As a vegetarian, I was pleased that the entree had more than one choice; per the bartender’s recommendation I got the spiked eggplant which was amazing! My boyfriend had the merguez lamb and he loved it. For dessert we had the spiced peanut basboosa- the semolina cake was a bit dry, but the turkish coffee and praline peanut was amazing! My only complaint would be that it is a bit difficult to find parking. A must eat place for anyone who is visiting the Philadelphia area!
    Christoper Owen recently posted…No last blog posts to return.My Profile

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