After months of anticipation — and a two-day soft opening phase — Philadelphia-based chef Michael Solmonov and restaurateur Steve Cook officially kicked open the doors to the Chelsea Market outpost of their hit hummus restaurant, Dizengoff, this morning. A key member of the Dizengoff Philly team moved to New York for the opening of this new counter: executive chef Emily Seaman. Dizengoff will always serve fresh hummus, and pita baked in a taboon, but the toppings and combinations will change often. Solomonov tells Eater: "Emily really changes the menu all the time. She gets everything from the market, basically, and transforms it into Israeli-esque dishes." Solomonov notes that the avocado with peanut harissa on the opening menu is "not something that you'd ever find in Israel, but it really tastes fantastic."
The restaurant is opening with five varieties of hummus, which are really set meals with proteins/vegetables, hummus and bread. Cook notes that "80 percent of the menu is vegan or vegetarian." But right now Seaman is also serving hummus topped with braised lamb neck, rhubarb, and black lime. Shakshuka is available from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. And Dizengoff is also serving three types of cold vegetable salads called salatim, which are similar to the dishes that accompany the hummus and laffa at Solomonov and Cook's flagship restaurant, Zahav.
The hummus meals are $10 to $13, and the salatim are $3 each. Later this year, the team will start offering a seated dinner service, which will likely incorporate large dishes to share. But for the moment, Dizengoff NYC is serving salads, hummus, pita, and drinks.
The team eventually hopes to expand in NYC, but for now, Cook and Solomonov just want to nail the opening of Dizengoff, and make sure that it finds its groove. Cook tells Eater: "It's the first thing we've ever done outside of Philly, so it's even more nerve-wracking than a regular opening — and they're all nerve-wracking." Solomonov recently promised that somewhere down the line, he and his partners will bring their hit chicken and doughnuts restaurant, Federal Donuts, to NYC.
Dizengoff is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily inside Chelsea Market. If you're entering from 9th Avenue, the counter is located in the first set of food stalls on the left, right across from the Chelsea Wine Vault. If you happen to stop by this weekend, let us know what you think.