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Michael Solomonov & Steve Cook Are Eyeing NYC for Possible Non-Zahav Expansion

Federal Donuts would crush it in NYC, especially considering this city's current obsession with fried chicken.

[Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov]
[Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov]

Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook have a cluster of wildly popular Philadelphia restaurants including Zahav, Abe Fisher, Dizengoff, and Federal Donuts. New Yorkers love visiting these restaurants, and Solomonov and Cook would like to bring one or more of them to this great city. But right now, they're still plotting their course of attack. Cook tells Grub Street: "We're just trying to figure out how people pay rent here." Their first NYC project might be either an outpost of their fried chicken restaurant Federal Donuts or their hummus shop Dizengoff. Solomonov explains: "Last in line would be Zahav."  Because of the size and scale of the kitchen operation, Solomonov thinks that would be the most difficult restaurant to bring to New York. It's hands-down his most acclaimed restaurant.

Word on the street is that the duo came close to signing a lease for a Dizengoff space in Manhattan about a month ago, but now it sounds like everything's still up in the air. Cook notes: "It's scary to think about operating in a new market. I mean, Philly's our hometown, and we have a lot of support there, and we want to manage that risk as much as we possibly can while still sort of not being afraid to take a leap." But the restaurateur also promises that "2016 could be a big year."

Cook and Solomonov just released their first book, Zahav, earlier this month.

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