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May 04, 2020

Philly's Laser Wolf named one of GQ's 2020 Best Restaurants in America

Michael Solomonov's Israeli grill in Kensington generated national buzz after barely a month

Food & Drink Restaurants
Laser Wolf GQ Source/Laser Wolf

Laser Wolf, the latest concept from Philadelphia restaurateur Michael Solomonov, was named one of the best new restaurants in the United States in 2020 by GQ magazine.

As restaurants around the world struggle under the business restrictions of the coronavirus crisis, having a Philadelphia spot land on a list of the best new places in the United States is a small consolation, at best.

Laser Wolf, the latest offering from star restaurateur Michael Solomonov, barely had been open for more than a month before the city's restaurants were forced to close up shop.

The Israeli grill, housed in a remodeled warehouse in Kensington, already had a wait list that probably would have extended as long as it will take to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. The name, inspired by the butcher in the musical "Fiddler on the Roof," is backed by a customizable menu of skewers and kebobs paired with salads

While Solomonov's Zahav has been a mainstay on "best of" lists for years, Laser Wolf's appearance on GQ's 2020 list of the top new restaurants is a good sign for whenever it is things start opening back up.

Here's what GQ's Brett Martin had to say about Laser Wolf:

Solomonov's hummus, which launched a thousand indeterminately "Mediterranean" restaurants, is here, smooth as ever but nearly lost amid the array of dips, pickles, and other salatim that arrive automatically when you order. All that remains is to pick proteins or vegetables to go on the grill: pleasantly spongy Romanian beef kebab; trim, triangular lamb chops; ruby-bellied strips of tuna. There does not appear to be a wrong choice. This isn't the "sharing" of anxiously dividing up appetizers. It's arms crisscrossing the table as everyone reaches for food, forks stabbing bits from friends' plates, a ballet of dishes being passed back and forth as conversation flows. It is what I picture when I dream of returning to restaurants.

On top of Laser Wolf's dinner menu, the bar serves a rotating beer and wine list and specialty Israeli cocktails.

Despite the circumstances, the CookNSolo family of restaurants, including Federal Donuts and Dizengoff, continues to provide takeout options for customers during the pandemic. When it's safe to return to dinner tables in Philly, Laser Wolf may not be so new anymore, technically, but a meal there is still should be something to look forward to.