Ori Menashe takes hummus seriously. Like, so seriously that he spent several months making about 400 test batches. The chef, whose downtown restaurant Bavel took the top spot on our list of the best new restaurants of 2018, experimented with dried chickpeas from all over the world before settling on beans from Spain’s Andalusian coast and tried various brands of Palestinian tahini before perfecting the beloved dual-textured dish he serves today.
As food editor Garrett Snyder puts it in our January issue, “The cooking here is of a piece with the Middle Eastern renaissance sweeping through America’s dining capitals, but it also feels like something beyond—injected with bolder spices, brighter herbs, and more resonant blasts of char and salt. Nowhere is that elevation more clear than in Menashe’s otherworldly pita, the dough whipped with olive oil and fermented for three days. When the puff of hot bread arrives, ready to be wiped through silken hummus that Menashe caps with duck ’nduja, it may as well be accompanied by angelic choirs.”
Watch Menashe in action below.
Bavel will be in the house at our Top 10 Best New Restaurants Event on Tuesday, January 29, at Rolling Greens in downtown. Get tickets here.
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