One of Philly’s best chefs is pulling his hit hummus restaurant Dizengoff out of New York. Chef Michael Solomonov and restaurateur Steve Cook announced on Friday that the Chelsea Market outpost would be closing at the end of the month, leaving the James Beard Award-winning chef with zero restaurants in NYC.
The counter — which served several versions of hummus and fresh-baked pita — opened in Chelsea Market in 2016, and at the time, it was one of the most anticipated debuts of the year. The team is known for Philly fine dining destinations Zahav, but Solomonov and Cook have built a bonafide empire of restaurants that includes Dizengoff and Federal Donuts. Until this Dizengoff, they had no projects in New York.
The Israeli restaurant initially took off. Eater critic Robert Sietsema gave it three stars for “the best hummus in town,” and the restaurant’s ticketed lamb dinners were popular, too, often selling out right after its launch.
The Dizengoff team would not say why the location is closing. But a close watcher of Chelsea Market could probably guess: In January, Israeli pita chain Miznon popped up in the market and was immediately slammed. That chain, too, is backed by a celebrity chef, and though it didn’t serve hummus, it had an expansive menu of eclectic pita sandwiches in a genre not too far from Dizengoff’s — as well as far more seating. The addition of a direct competitor to the market has been described as “curious.”
Solomonov also recently shuttered a Miami location of Dizengoff and Federal Donuts, which were open for just six months. Construction around those outposts “was simply too much to bear.”
No word yet on whether Solomonov will pursue a different project in New York. Eater has reached out to Chelsea Market for who might go there instead.
Dizengoff’s last day is August 29th. See the full statement below:
For years we’d dreamed of having a New York restaurant. Mike was actually on the way to New York to find a kitchen job when he felt compelled to stop in Philly; thankfully he did because shortly thereafter, we made Zahav. But today we’re sad to say that Dizengoff NYC’s last day of business will be August 29th. Thank you to everyone who’s supported us and come in to crush some hummus and pita.