Chelsea Market is an enclosed urban food court and shopping mall in the middle of New York’s Chelsea Neighbourhood. It is home to three dozen vendors carrying everything from gourmet food and wine, to candy shops, bakeries, restaurants and fish mongers. It was always a great place to visit, but now it just got better.
Dizengoff opened winter, 2016. Israeli Chef Michael Solomonov in partnership with Steve Cook has continued to expand his hummus-centric empire. It is one of the most exciting new restaurant openings this year. Chef Solomonov’s first opened a fine dining restaurant in Israel in 2008. In 2014 he opened a hummus location in Philadelphia that took off, and Michael became a James Beard Award winner. He has now expanded to Manhattan’s Chelsea Market. He has modelled these eateries after the hummus stalls in Israel. Chef Michael named the place after one of the most iconic streets in Tel Aviv. People are flocking in droves to this eighteen seat outpost. The stool seating places you right in front of the action, and you can see everything being made on the spot. This location is run by Emily Seaman.
Like Philadelphia, it offers set meals of hummus, with fresh baked pita, where the bread is rolled out and placed in the oven right in front of you. The pita is fabulous, and you get a salad and pickle to go with it. These are priced from $10-13. Then you can get additional toppings for $3, like eggplant, roasted egg, chickpeas etc. There are a lot of seasonal, inventive toppings. There are five varieties of hummus and the turnover is so high that it is never refrigerated. Then you top it with a protein or vegetables. 80% of the menu is vegan or vegetarian. One protein dish that is exclusive to New York is the braised lamb neck with rhubarb and dried lamb. Some other meals are hummus with roasted romanesco broccoli, golden raisins, pine nuts, harissa and preserved lemon. Another has roasted squash, with hazelnut and chili dukka. I tried a few extra toppings that they were kind enough to bring out for me from the back and they were fabulous and added another dimension to the hummus. For instance, I tried the schug which was a chunky jalapeño and cilantro chutney. This location also serves shakshuka for breakfast daily, whereas the Philly location only makes it on a Sunday.
I enjoyed watching the balls of dough being formed, being rolled before me and placed in the hearth to bake. They came out piping hot, puffed, charred and delicious. The setting is fun, with red communal counters, and food served on plastic cafeteria trays. You can get cutlery if you ask, but it is fun to rip your pita and dip. Dizengoff also serves Israeli wines and a frozen limonana, which is an Israeli mint and lemonade spiked with bourbon.
They are open daily from 10AM to 10PM. Because of all the hype it can be difficult to secure a spot. But note, in good weather you can take-out and eat on the Highline.
Diezengoff opened in the new area of Chelsea Market with some of the best vendors. I suggest you walk around the corner to another favourite of mine, Seed and Mill for some artisanal halava afterwards for dessert.