At the top of the Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg, you’ll find a terrace with a panoramic view of Manhattan that'll make you swear you’ll never leave for any godforsaken town without a skyline like this one. This is the New York home of Laser Wolf, one of our highest-rated restaurants in Philly.
The fun, highly-spirited food at this Israeli grill lives up to the hype. But where they’ve chosen to serve that food—an amazing rooftop that could have been wasted on yet another place serving uninspired wagyu sliders to a crowd in business casual button-downs—makes it an NYC summertime staple.
Modeled after the Israeli skewer houses known as shipudiya, Laser Wolf serves meat, fish, and vegetables cooked over an open fire. You choose from whichever gilled mains you want, and the price for each includes a large platter of vegetarian mezze and pitas for the table.
All of the grilled mains are good, but the seafood options are the most memorable. The whole trout, in particular, is perfectly cooked and well-spiced, with some smokiness from the char. Another real standout from the grill is the gorgeous half eggplant. Scoop out some sweet flesh (given a tart kick by amba), make sure to get some of the green onion, garlic, and dill potpourri layed on top, and promise yourself you’ll order eggplant more often.
What you're really here for, however, is the glorious wreath of salatim. You’ll get about a dozen metal bowls of things like a potato salad with silky radishes, a smooth babaganoush, and a light, fresh fennel and orange salad that tastes particularly good on top of the grilled trout. A large plate of garlic-heavy hummus sits in the center of the wreath, with pita on the side that’s so warm and fluffy we’d like to zip ourselves up inside of it and use it as a sleeping bag.
All of this is presented with playful charm and a little humor. The waitstaff embody all the friendliness promised by the Hawaiian shirts they’re wearing, the salatim comes with a cute illustration explaining what everything is, and you can play alchemist when you mix your own order of arak at the table. This place doesn’t take itself too seriously, which makes the serious view even more enjoyable.
If New York hasn’t impressed you in a minute, spend a night here eating incredible hummus and fish off the grill with a warm breeze on your face. You’ll be surprised at how much that sparkly skyline can still get you. Just when this place starts to seem like something reserved only for special occasions, a server will bring you some housemade brown sugar soft serve in a paper cup, and you’ll feel like you’re hanging with your friends by the river, grilling and passing around ice cream.
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Laser Wolf is an ideal group dinner spot thanks to the unlimited salatim for the table. The hummus has an airy, whipped texture, and we also love the ajvar, pineapple salad, and green beans with matbucha.
Perfectly cooked with particularly flavorful spice-rubbed skin, the trout is our favorite seafood dish on the menu.
Lamb & Beef Koobideh
Well-seasoned and tender, this kebab is lightened by a refreshing mix of herbs within the ground meat.
The eggplant is one of our favorite dishes off the grill. We love the crispy garlic on top, and the tomatoes add some extra fresh flavor.
Whole Branzino w/Ginger & Tomato
The copious amount of ginger stuffed in this excellent branzino for two does a lot of the heavy lifting here, but it's mixed with plenty of herbs to balance it out. The fish arrives grilled to a satisfying crisp.
Date Harissa Wings w/Tehina Ranch
There's a short à la carte menu that, for the most part, doesn't have anything more enticing than the main courses on it. These wings are the best option. The hot harissa coating gets a nice smokiness from the char.
Brown Sugar Soft Serve
The price of your entree includes a cup of housemade brown sugar soft serve, topped with sour cherries, pistachio, and rice-based crispies. This is an excellent combination of flavors that we will be stealing, though we doubt we'll find a brown sugar ice cream alternative as creamy as this one.