While construction continues on his soon-to-be Simcha restaurant in Sharon, Avi Shemtov has been dialing in the modern Israeli menu. Simcha opens Tuesday, March 5, 2019, and in the meantime, Shemtov shares a sneak peek at the opening menu.
With meze like slab bacon and smoked eggplant babaganoush; venison kibbeh nayyeh (a tartare with bulgur wheat and pickled cucumber); and whole-smoked cauliflower with pickled apple and tahini, Simcha is “Israeli soul food with a New England accent,” Shemtov says. That means highlighting New England ingredients like apples, pumpkins, lobster, and scallops, alongside a range of Middle Eastern spices and techniques.
The chef, who is also behind the Chubby Chickpea food truck, is sourcing whole animals from HillTown Grazers in Goshen, Mass., Wheel-View Farm in Shelburne, Mass., and North Star Sheep Farm in Windham, Maine; Shemtov just hired New Zealand native Joe Henry as head butcher.
“His incredible skill and knowledge in the butchering world is vital to my dream and his New Zealand charm is a great fit on our quirky team,” Shemtov says.
UPDATE: In February, Shemtov announced star pastry chef Kate Holowchik is developing Simcha’s pita program, and contributing to its dessert and brunch menus.
Check out a typical Simcha menu below. Shemtov is sharing a Simcha preview with diners in Austin, Texas, on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at Swoop House. Simcha is on Instagram, so follow along for updates and hopefully, more menu previews.
Simcha Restaurant, coming in early 2019 to 370 South Main St., Sharon, thechubbychickpea.com.
Slab bacon and smoked eggplant babaganouh
Fried okra with whipped goat-cheese labneh
Whole-smoked cauliflower with pickled apple sauce with thick tahini
Pinto bean hummus and chicharrones
Barbecue-smoked kibbeh nayyeh: Prime ribeye tartare tossed with bulgur what, fresh herbs, and dried zhough, smoked tableside and served with poached quail egg
Smoked pork belly and grapefruit coulis
Za’atar lobster roll with pickled lemon aioli on a marrow-toasted hot dog bun
Schnitzel-fried rabbit with rabbit gravy and goat cheese biscuit
Smoked pumpkin manti with beurre blanc and brown sugar
Scallop and apple rosti: Crispy fried potato pancake filled with New England scallops, apple, and bacon with crème fraiche
Pecan pie baklava
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