food-ie #10 at Zahav : 8/1/08
Our tenth food-ie event at Zahav was a delicious to say the least. We were overwhelmed with a barrage of flavors that never slowed down. This is fortunate since our appetites were only further rewarded with each of the layers of flavors that arrived at the table and resulted in more anticipation and eager tasting. From my perspective, we seemed to find ourselves, shamelessly in a frenzy as each dish and mouthful seemed new and exciting as in the early stages of a new addiction. The "MESIBAH", which means party time, did not fail its claim. As I uploaded images onto our groups flickr account, I realized much of what the MESIBAH includes goes beyond the menu and is not even named or described there. That left me to my food-hazed memories and the inevitable blank/untitled photos of savory dishes.
*What? too much vocabulary? I can't help it. I find myself reaching for less traveled praise to do this meal and Zahav justice.
As a group of 15 we were in the private dining room which was flawless in feeling private and yet still a part of the whole restaurant. The staff was warm and comfortable with the task of making us feel at home and still presenting and catering to our needs to feel like genuine but very special house guests.
I considered commenting about specific dishes but realized I would need more time and space. It was all great (to be subtle) and the desserts alone wold be like writing a thesis paper. If I were to show favorites, It would have to be the lamb... oh the lamb. I salivate a little bit every time I think about that dish. It was the most succulent, tender and flavorful lamb experience I've had so far (But I'm so young, it's not as big a praise as you'd think- wink, wink). When the Whole roasted shoulder came out with no knives but accompanied with only small tongs, I thought there was a mistake until I gave the tongs a try. The meat fell off the bone as easy as it was to keep eating, believe me. I have to admit I somewhat gorged myself on that lamb and ate until it hurt. I don't recommend this, especially since our server Eric made sure all the remains of our feast were packed up for us. I managed to grab one of them too.
Now I look forward to going back and experiencing the main dining room. I can certainly endorse the MESIBAH for any group without hesitation. My challenge is not to overrate it to the point people believe I get some sort of kick back and become skeptical. As a foodie, one considers the value o finesse in their sermons.
Oh the lamb.
Our 10th foodie event will be at Steven Cook's newest restaurant ZAHAV (modern Middle Eastern cuisine) is easy to access by subway since it's next to Society Hill Towers. Steve's provided us with extraordinary foodie memories at Marigold & XOCHITL.
Zahav's menu for groups is called the MESIBAH. it's a family-style meal that progresses through every category of their menu. It usually includes a choice of one entree, however, we'll have all three offered to us family style with substitutes for vegetarians. Note: drinks are separate at the bar.
The MENU = $55 (includes tax/tip):
HUMMUS-TEHINA AND LAFFA
COLD AND HOT MEZZE
WHOLE ROASTED LAMB SHOULDER - pomegranate-lamb jus, chickpeas
WHOLE CHICKEN - za'atar, green tehina, laffa
WHOLE FISH IN GRAPE LEAVES - sauce tarator, bulgur pilaf
*beverages not included
**This was our first SUMMER food-ie and though it was a smaller group (15) it felt like the perfect number.
Group photo with Elon & Eric from Zahav, 8/1/08