photo credit: Rachel Lerro
If you’ve lived in Philly for more than 10 minutes, you know all about Mike Solomonov’s restaurant empire. It’s focused primarily on concepts and food from Israel (think Zahav, Laser Wolf and Dizengoff). Abe Fisher, the cozy retro restaurant in Rittenhouse Square, serves food from the Jewish diaspora–and does it as exceptionally well as its Israeli counterparts.
The Sansom Street spot manages to look trendy even though it’s definitely vintage-inspired, from the black and white tile floors to the swivel-top stools at the bar. Abe Fisher's laid-back, buzzy scene draws a pretty diverse crowd, and it's a fun place to hang out and people watch. You’ll probably see friends sharing latke fries and pear apple sauce, multi-gen groups, and at least three or four tables of people on their way to the Kimmel Center.
photo credit: Rachel Lerro
The fusion of old and new continues to the menu, which is made up of modern twists on centuries-old recipes from around the globe. Start with the Russian-inspired borscht tartare or Eastern Europe’s chicken liver mousse. There’s a touch of New York-style deli in the hot smoked salmon with toasted challah, but it’s unlike anything you’ll find at Famous 4th Street. The most notable–and utterly delicious–dish on the menu is the now-famous Montreal short ribs, served with challah rolls, house-made mustard and russian-style spreads, and pickles. The ribs come in long slabs of smokey, perfectly-seasoned slices, and kind of taste like pastrami, but better than any pastrami we’ve ever eaten.
Grab a drink at the lively bar, bring friends for a celebratory, decadent dinner, or treat your in-laws when you're trying to impress. That's the beauty of this place–aside from the world tour of sophisticated comfort food, it's kosher for pretty much any occasion.
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Chicken Liver Mousse
This mousse is light and airy yet creamy and rich. It comes with a grilled house-made rye toast covered in warm schmaltz, which is like butter, but better.
These shredded beets are tossed in a horseradish vinaigrette, and served with smoked trout roe and dill sour cream. Pile it on the house-made onion chips for a crispy, earthy bite.
Montreal-Style Short Ribs
These short ribs are what would happen if brisket and pastrami had a baby. The bone-in short rib is crusted in pastrami spice, smoked, and slow-roasted until it’s meltingly tender. It’s a must try (but beware, they tend to sell out on busy nights, so call ahead and make sure to reserve at least one order for your table).