Lilting music and noticeably helpful servers are just the fringe benefits of partaking in a meal at Philadelphia's Zahav. This restaurant, located in Society Hill and not too far from Rittenhouse Claridge, also happens to deliver some of the best Mediterranean food anywhere in the city, according to its dedicated customers.
That includes the Yemenite soup, one of the unique appetizers at Zahav. Pickled onions and baby turnips bob in its flavorful chicken broth. The heirloom tomato salad topped with house ricotta or roasted zucchini with Bulgarian feta are also popular ways to start a meal. Once you've warmed up, order a few small plates — known as "mezze" — to share for the main course, like the exotic kibbe naya. This platter consists of raw lamb with kale, corn, and fenugreek. The crispy lamb's tongue, on the other hand, comes fully seared with smoked grapes, peaches, pistachio tehina, and snap peas. For something sweet to end your meal, try the watermelon salad; it's drizzled with smoked honey.