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Zahav Review

by Katie Skrzek

Jul 27, 2021

Photo by Katie Skrzek


Zahav is one of Philadelphia’s most coveted reservations. The Israeli restaurant won Outstanding Restaurant at the 2019 James Beard awards, among other accolades. I had plans fall through to dine at Zahav a few times, but I finally dined there this month.


My husband and I had a 9:30 p.m. dinner reservation, much later than we normally eat dinner. We arrived ahead of our reservation and thankfully were seated early. We didn’t specify indoor or outdoor seating, and the hostess brought us to a table outside. It was a very hot day, so we would have preferred to sit inside.


Zahav currently operates on a tasting menu-only basis. Our waitress asked if we had any allergies or dietary restrictions and took our drink order. We each ordered a glass of wine. The meal began with laffa bread, hummus and a selection of salatim, vegetable salads. The hummus was the standout from this course. Up next, the cold mezze course, featuring an apricot and feta dish, falafel, fluke crudo and a haloumi dish. My favorite was the haloumi, which came wrapped in a pastry crust with blueberries, pistachios and elderflower syrup.



After the mezze course, the next course of grilled dishes didn’t arrive for an hour. We weren’t sure if it was a staffing issue, kitchen issue or something else, but it wasn’t addressed by our waitress. We drank our water while trying to stay cool waiting for the rest of our meal.


The grilled dishes and entrée arrived all at once. We enjoyed maitake mushrooms, beef kebab, grilled branzino and lamb shoulder with crispy rice. While these dishes were all enjoyable, we were hot from sitting outside and tired from waiting, so we were ready for our final course. Dessert was a custard with blueberries and shortbread and a zucchini cake. When dessert arrived, we asked for our check, in case we needed to wait again.


Overall, our dinner at Zahav was an enjoyable experience, with a few disappointments. I would be interested in a return visit to experience the inside dining room.



237 St. James Place

Philadelphia, PA


tel 215 625 8800


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