A Day in the Life of Zahav Chef Michael Solomonov

Chef — and recent James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist — Michael Solomonov is a busy man. He is the chef behind the CookNSolo restaurant group based in Philadelphia, which includes the beloved modern Israeli restaurant, Zahav, Percy Street Barbecue, and more.

We caught up with the chef to get a behind the scenes look at a typical Saturday.

Zahav Chef Michael Solomonov

8:00 a.m. Wake up

9:00 a.m. Saturday mornings mean swim class with my son, David. He’s a happy four-year-old and he’s a ninja in the pool.

10:00 a.m. While David’s in class, I check in with my sous chefs at Zahav. FaceTime is a game-changer, especially since we change the menu almost daily now – which I love – so a good Saturday morning rap session with the kitchen starts the day of service off right. We check out what we have in the walk-in and discuss potential moments to be had throughout the evening.

11:00 p.m. After swim class, David and I head to Spice C at 10th and Cherry for hand-drawn noodles. This place is the best at what they do. My son calls it “Buddha soup and noodles” because there’s a large Buddha statue that lives right by the door.

12:00 p.m. I drop David at home and head to Zahav. Living in Old City right near the restaurant is clutch – not only because I can easily pop home to see my family, but because Old City also happens to be my favorite neighborhood in Philadelphia.

12:15 p.m. Time to work on Dizengoff #2. We’re opening so soon inside Chelsea Market in NYC, and we’re adding new hummus toppings and salatim (Israeli-style salads) to the menu (plus Shakshuka every day, as opposed to just on Sundays in Philly). Israeli cuisine is so intrinsic to Dizengoff chef Emily’s cooking, and she’s working hard to source as many ingredients as possible as local to New York as possible. So she and I have a progress check-in (though I have complete confidence that she could rock the menu on her own).

2:30 p.m. Exercise has become incredibly important to me over the years. Zahav is located right near the Ben Franklin Bridge, so I’ll often run the bridge to get my head in the game for the night ahead.

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5 Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza Pies To Try Before You Die

The word pizza doesn’t always mean the same thing. Ask someone in Naples, New Haven, or New York City, and you’ll get three different answers. If you pose the question to a Chicagoan, they’ll invariably say deep dish. But what is deep dish? As the name implies, it’s a super thick pizza baked in a high-walled pan. Usually, the formidable crust is on the slightly crumbly side, but it’s still not okay to eat a slice with a fork and knife. This is pizza, people – use your hands [Ed. note: That means you, Mr. Kasich]! On top of the crust goes a gooey lagoon of mozzarella, followed by toppings, and a finishing layer of chunky style tomato sauce. Though there are plenty of pizza parlors around Chitown (and beyond), there aren’t many where you can make a reservation to ensure you get your dose of deep dish when you want it. In celebration of National Deep Dish Pizza Day, here are five Chicago-style deep dish pizza pies you need to try before you die.

Pizzeria Ora
A relative newcomer to the deep dish scene, this standout ‘za joint opened in 1996 in the River North neighborhood. Their monstrous pies are three-inches deep and packed to the brim with mozz, chunky sauce, and toppings. The aptly named Supreme is a standout, boasting pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green peppers. No matter where you order a deep dish pizza, it can take up to 45 minutes to bake, so bide your time by digging into appetite-suppressing apps, such as mozzarella sticks, aromatic garlic bread, and wings. Make a reservation at Pizzeria Ora.

Deep Dish Pizza

Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta
Owner Rudy Malnati Jr. has deep dish in his blood. His father, Rudy Malnati Sr., is considered in some circles as the creator of the original deep dish pizza at Pizzeria Uno (others claim it was the restaurant’s founder, Ike Sewell, who devised the recipe). No matter what, his son has raised the deep-dish tradition to new heights with his version of the crust, which tastes like a buttery pastry with well-caramelized edging. Mark’s Special is a deceptively simple creation featuring sweet slices of tomato, vibrant basil, and lots and lots of garlic, but it’s a memorable taste of the Windy City that will linger long after you’ve blown out of town. Make a reservation at Pizano’s Pizza & Pasta.

Deep Dish Pizza

Gino’s East
Not much has changed since this iconic pizzeria opened its doors in 1966. You can still scrawl your name or some graffiti on the walls while their hefty deep dish ‘zas are still baked in well-seasoned cast iron pans. They don’t do half measures here, so check your low-carb, gluten-free, paleo diet at the door. Classics include the Chicago Fire (spicy sausage, fire roasted red peppers, and red onions), Meaty Legend (bacon, Canadian bacon, sausage, and pepperoni), and the Jalapeño Blue (bacon, blue cheese, and sausage, plus jalapeños stuffed with bacon and blue cheese). Make a reservation at Gino’s East.

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April 2016 Restaurant Weeks: Celebrate Your City’s Dining Scene

Spring is the perfect time to get out and dine, and, bonus, there are restaurant weeks cropping up around the nation! Find out where you can save on your next meal.

April 2016 Restaurant Weeks

Dine out for Autism NYC is your chance to help change the face of autism all month long. A percentage of your bill will be donated to Autism Speaks when you dine at a participating restaurant in New York City through April 30. Make a reservation.

Newport Restaurant Week started April 1st, but it’s no joke! Dig into delightful $16 lunches + $35 dinners through April 10. Make a reservation.

Hamptons Restaurant Week heats up LI’s East End with $27.95 lunches + dinners, April 3-10. Make a reservation.

Talbot Restaurant Week rolls into Maryland’s Eastern Shore with two-course $20.16 lunches + three-course $33.16 dinners, April 3-9. Make a reservation.

Seattle Restaurant Week is sure to please Jet City foodies. Don’t miss two-course $15 lunches + three-course $30 dinners, April 10-21. Make a reservation.

Western New Yorks Local Restaurant Week is your opportunity support your favorite local spots in the WNY with $20.16, $30.16, and $40.16 lunches + dinners, April 11-17. Make a reservation.Continue Reading

Introducing OpenTable Taste: 4D Lickable Technology Allows Diners to Taste Dishes in App

At OpenTable, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to connect people with amazing dining experiences around the world. We’re especially excited to help diners discover new restaurants and help them experience restaurants before they ever step in the door.

For years OpenTable diners have requested a way to get a taste of a restaurant’s food before booking a table. Our research shows diners have a biological reaction when they see evocative food photography — food porn leads to higher levels of endorphins and oxytocin and, ultimately, pleasurable experiences.

OpenTable Taste

Today, OpenTable is thrilled to announce the release of OpenTable Taste, a groundbreaking new way for diners to experience the food photos they love. With the OpenTable iOS or Android app, you can now sample a restaurant’s food directly from their phones — all you have to do is lick. Our engineers have developed an advanced algorithm to map out tongue taste buds, then engage with them to recreate the flavor profiles in your brain. This technology sends signals to your brain, meaning for the first time in history you can taste food photos through your phone.

How It Works

Diners can experience  OpenTable Taste technology in three easy steps. It’s easy (and tasty) as pie!

  1. First, install the latest version of the OpenTable iOS or Android free app ;  U.K. only download for iOS or Android here
  2. Next, find a scrumptious photo and give it a little lick.
  3. Finally, book at that restaurant or pick another to try. (*Note: Multiple licks may be necessary)

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