Thursday, February 16, 2012

1st Ever Restaurant Week (in Israel!) - Zahav

January 29, 2012
Zahav, Philadelphia PA
Hummus Tehina & Laffa
Grilled Duck Hearts
Lamb Tongue
Hazelnut-Date Rugelach
My first ever Restaurant Week in Philly! I missed the opportunity in September and will never do so again! Our house sponsored this event so we only had to pay $10 for the $20 lunch and Zahav was absolutely amazing. I have never had Israeli food, nor have I tried good hummus and tehina.

The appetizers were delicious. The laffa with its seasoning was so warm and soft and chewy... the kind of baking I approve of! The hummus was delicious with the olive oil and chili seasoning. The various salatim had distinct tastes. My favourites were the beets and carrots.

I decided to go all the way so I ordered the Grilled Duck Hearts as my second course. Where else are you going to ever eat duck hearts? I'm fine with any part of an animal that I will usually eat. The hearts were quite hard to chew but definitely tender enough.

I like having to work at my food as long as it is still tender and moist. The onion puree that came with it along with the turnip salatim were also perfect complements.

My third course was also wild and crazy - Lamb Tongue. It was perfectly grilled, tender, and the texture was lovely. It was like a very chewy sausage but with a touch of lamb flavour. Very delicious. At least it did not look like a tongue even if it did come in long strips. The apricot marmalade in the dish was also a nice balance.

Finally, I decided to go the traditional route with the Hazelnut-Date Rugelach. I'm not a fan of phyllo pastry so I did not pick the baklava. But I do not regret it. The rugelach was warm and soft, and the
hazelnut-date filling was sweet but not overly sweet. So warm, such a good aroma coming off of it. The Turkish coffee ice cream that it came with was also delicious, as it had a very nice texture to it. Not the usual creamy, smooth texture, but more of a rough, grounded coffee. It was not sweet, more coffee-flavoured than sweet. A great ending to such a wonderful meal!

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