New York City has a ton of Israeli / Middle Eastern establishments already in the dining scene, but I was very intrigued when I heard last year that a mini-empire in Philadelphia from Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook (with acclaimed restaurants such as Zahav which I have yet to visit) decided to open an outpost in Chelsea Market. I’ve always been fond of hummus since my early days as a poor student when I took care a lot of meals with simple baked pitas dipped on hummus, and the new counter certainly looked like a good place to stop by in the afternoon for a quick glass of wine accompanied by some bites. Soon after Dizengoff was opened, however, the team decided to up the ante and launched a full dinner service so my focus naturally turned to that. The family-style dinner service, available only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays via online ticket system, seemed like a bargain at $45 per person (the price was recently raised to $55 per person), and I booked a spot well in advance to visit the place with my girlfriend. We thoroughly enjoyed what came from the open kitchen across the counter seats where we sat.
I have a pretty low bar when it comes to hummus but the one at Dizengoff that kicked off the meal (following a delicious cracker with tzatziki Greek yogurt on top) was truly outstanding. With hen of the woods mushrooms, pine nuts and green tehina on the center, its clean flavor with exquisite balance of flavor was so remarkable that I started to wonder why I didn’t encounter hummus like this elsewhere in the markets like Whole Foods. I seriously could’ve just continued to dip the just-baked pitas on top of this hummus and ended my meal right there! The hummus was quickly followed by an assortment of very good vegetable dishes. My girlfriend couldn’t stop raving about radicchio (a leaf chicory) with caramelized onion for its fresh texture with barely any seasoning, and my personal favorite was simple brussels sprouts with chile that added a spicy kick to the vegetable. None of the vegetable dishes had over-seasoning issues and I can tell that the kitchen was really focused on putting together the freshest ingredients out there that they can find.
By this time, my girlfriend and I were starting to get full but then came the gigantic roasted short ribs accompanied by eggplant and pickled vegetables. I had a slight issue with the temperature of the short ribs (could’ve been a bit warmer) but otherwise had no complaint on the tender texture of the meat with smoky but moderate flavor that tasted even better with eggplant and pickled vegetables on the side. Too bad that we just couldn’t finish the meat because we were beyond full midway already! For dessert, simple white chocolate maamoul tart with citrus and blood orange was a delightful icing on the cake that wasn’t overly sweet to my liking.
As noted above, the dinner service at Dizengoff is available only via online ticketing system. The tickets sell out pretty quickly, so definitely plan way ahead in advance. The setting is a simple counter with tall communal tables next to it, and I actually like Chelsea Market a lot more during this time of the day when there are way fewer tourists. There is concise drinks menu with some serviceable Israeli wine selections and pre-made pomegranate-based cocktail punch. If you want to explore the full range of rustic and satisfying Israeli cuisine in an intimate setting, Dizengoff’s dinner meal will be an awesome way to do it. I highly recommend checking out this place, and would love coming back just to have more of their amazing hummus.
- Creativity: 8.0/10
- Execution: 8.5/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 8.5/10
- Texture: 8.5/10
Address: 75 9th Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Telephone: (646) 833-7097