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“An amazing experience!”
Review of Zahav

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Ranked #3 of 4,351 Restaurants in Philadelphia
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $25
Cuisines: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Israeli
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Large groups, Special occasions, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Buffet, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighborhood: City Center East
Cross street: Dock Street at Walnut (Between 2nd & 3rd)
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
357 reviews
252 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“An amazing experience!”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

First, I have to thank Anthony Bourdain for turning me onto this place. After watching the lamb shoulder on my TV screen, I knew it was on my bucket list. Our entire table got the chef's tasting menu for the lamb shoulder and we're so glad we did.

The first course was a serving of their house bread with an amazing hummus. It was so creamy and the oil balance was perfect. I always thought hummus was just hummus but this one changed my mind on that.

Next, came out a selection pickled and spiced vegetables. There were beats, eggplants and a few other selections. All were very good and reminded me a lot of Korean style side dishes (banchan) that you get during every meal.

Fried cauliflower was prepared so well. Even those at my table who didn't like cauliflower really enjoyed this dish. It was very greasy but rather lightly fried and seasoned well.

The asparagus with fish was a nice touch. Both gave a nice smoky flavor and accented the meal well overall.

For the next course, we got the smoked sable which was placed on top of a toasted challah bread with a poached egg in the middle. Wow. When you cut it in half the egg yolk soaked up into the bread and the fish created a wonderful flavor combination.

For the main course, out came the whole lamb shoulder. It was the size of a small child. It was brined for 3 days and then slow roasted. The meat was so tender they just gave you a pair on tongs to pull the meat off the bones. There was no need for a knife at all. The meat was incredibly tender and the brining rally brought out a unique flavor that I never had before. By far the best lamb I've ever had. We barely made a dent in it and probably had about 3 lbs of meat that we took to go.

For dinner we got a combination of three dishes. Though I was stuffed beyond belief I took a taste of most of them. They were all very well executed, but was so full couldn't really enjoy them.

Overall, a great meal and plan to return if I come to Philly again.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank liquidmj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,137 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
72 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Top class food and service”
Reviewed January 5, 2014

My wife and I stopped by, for the first time, for an unplanned dinner after seeing a movie at Ritz. Luckily we were there early so got a table without any delay. It was a Monday, albeit over the holiday, but we were surprised at how busy the place was. When the food arrived we knew why. Everything was outstanding it was hard to pick a winner. When coupled with the exceptional service it was one of our best restaurant experiences.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Geoff W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
40 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Modern Middle Eastern”
Reviewed January 1, 2014 via mobile

This was our first night in Philly. We were running 1/2 hour late due to traffic and they accommodated us easily. We got the first of two dinner option with the flatbread, salads and hummus (4 or 5 different types...who knew?), two appetizers each, an "entree" (put in quotation marks because all menu items are basically the same size), and dessert. There was some confusion with the first item on the dinner listing. We initially thought we would get double salad/flatbread/hummus, but it was just one for the table. The server, sensing our confusion, brought us two types of hummus as a friendly gesture; one was traditional chickpeas with tahini, the other was Turkish style that was served warm with butter mixed in...very rich. The salads included a cold selection of beets, fennel, eggplant and carrots, taboule and tomato stewed green beans. App course standouts included griddled cheese with apples and dates, artichoke hearts with ricotta and kumquats, fried cauliflower with mint labneh. Duck kabob stood out as an entree as did the dessert of carrot cheesecake. Sad that there weren't more Middle Eastern wines by the glass to experiment with, but the wines offered matched the cuisine well. No espresso, but don't miss the Turkish coffee with cardamom and lots of sugar! Lots of windows gave a nice view of Society Hill. Great atmosphere. Close to Penn's Landing for a post-dinner stroll.

Thank npwest
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hagerstown, Maryland
Level Contributor
64 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“An Taste Bud's Dream”
Reviewed December 30, 2013

Make your reservations several days in advance or do like my boyfriend and I did - get there right when it opens (at 5pm) and sit at the bar.

One perk of sitting at the bar is that you can split the Tayim - something they don't allow you if you're seated at the tables. Tayim is a sampler of deliciousness that starts with with the creamiest hummus I've ever had, salatim (small, cold, vegetable salads) to tantalize every taste - sweet, salty, bitter - and piping hot and pillowy soft laffa.

After that we chose the crispy haloumi (the best fried cheese you'll ever have), and the sweetbread schnitzel. Followed by the duck kebobs. All were simple yet flavorful and beautifully arranged.

The menu on the website doesn't always reflect the menu you'll be handed in the restaurant but always ask. We saw the veal stuffed grape leaves on the website but they weren't on the menu when we were there but we asked our bartender and she went back and the chef made us some - on the house! What a generous gift!

The Tayim comes with one dessert to share but we couldn't decide so we each got one: the Konafi and the Ma'amoul. Of course, both were delicious but I preferred the Ma'amoul which was kind of a date-filled tart with some kind of custard-like cream on top.

Even though we split the Tayim, and all of the dishes were small plates (ala tapas), we were full to the gills when we left. And while we walked home we were already considering canceling the next night's reservations at a different restaurant so we could go to Zahav again!

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jzamostny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scarsdale, N.Y.
Level Contributor
71 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Delicious and lively atmosphere”
Reviewed December 27, 2013

Great vibe in this stylish restaurant. Modern Mederteranean food that is well flavored and beautifully presented. Interesting menu with very delicious food. The service is excellent, people are friendly and they really want to please.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Swechs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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