At Laser Wolf, Dinner Is Even Better than the Sunset

On a current night at Laser Wolf, a brand new restaurant on the rooftop of the Hoxton lodge, in Williamsburg, a pleasant however authoritative lady zipped dutifully from desk to desk, pausing at every. “We clap for the sunset,” she introduced. “Don’t panic.” For a second, service appeared to halt. Bodies shifted westward as the collective gaze settled on an unimpeded view of the Manhattan skyline. Phones had been drawn. As the gleaming orb sank behind the Con Ed clock tower, blue sky melting into gold, dramatic rays backlighting cotton-ball clouds, applause went up, accompanied by cheers.

A Laser Wolf unfold, together with French fries with tahini ketchup (left) and an array of salatim (salads, dips, pickles, and olives, with a centerpiece of hummus, prime left) that comes with each order of kebab (middle).

With a vista like this, food and drinks may simply be secondary, to not point out a complete ripoff. At Laser Wolf—an outpost of the beloved Philadelphia restaurant of the identical identify (a cheeky reference to “Fiddler on the Roof”), from the Israeli American chef Michael Solomonov and the restaurateur Steve Cook—it’s the setting that feels negligible. The final time I had eaten at a Solomonov-Cook restaurant was in 2018, simply earlier than they closed a Chelsea Market location of Dizengoff, their Philadelphia hummus counter. The windowless-corridor seating by no means deterred me from the exquisitely silky whipped hummus, a meal in itself, topped with floor lamb and pomegranate molasses, and the za’atar roast rooster.

Kebabs are grilled over charcoal in the open kitchen.

What a aid to have that hummus again, as the centerpiece of Laser Wolf’s salatim, a bountiful array of salads and dips delivered to the desk as quickly as you order any of the menu’s grilled objects, in the model of an Israeli shipudiya, or “skewer house.” Choose a cocktail—my celebration gasped at the great thing about the Saz-Arak, two chilly, crisp fingers of rye and arak, an anise-flavored spirit—and a skewer, and also you’re completed with choices; dessert can be included. There’s a small array of à-la-carte add-ons, too, however let me make it simple: get the double-cooked thick-cut French fries, glowing with salt, and the gently spicy, sticky-sweet date-harissa wings, served with tahini ketchup and tahini ranch, respectively.

A bowl of brown-sugar comfortable serve with pistachios and cherry preserves can be included with any kebab.

The salatim are uniformly glorious, a roulette with solely fortunate slots: creamy white gigante beans strewn with torn Castelvetrano olives; a shocking, refreshing mixture of diced pineapple and shaved celery tossed in smoked-pineapple purée; earthy roasted mushrooms with ruffles of kale and a smidge of sour-cherry juice. The heat, pillowy pita is ideal, particularly for swiping by way of baba ghanoush and the hummus, a beneficiant whorl completed with olive oil, za’atar, and parsley.

After an opener so full, the adjective “main” doesn’t fairly apply to the subsequent course, which isn’t to say it’s not an occasion. Luscious, shaggy brief rib is braised in passion-fruit amba, an Iraqi Jewish sauce historically made out of pickled inexperienced mango, earlier than its edges develop crisp over smoldering charcoal. Velvety chunks of tuna are crusted in coriander and caraway seeds and glossed in a North African-style chili paste referred to as harif. The rooster shishlik (Hebrew for “skewer”) can’t compete with the wings, however the gamy tang of the steak shishlik comes up from behind; it’s a lot easier however no much less thrilling than the koobideh, made with house-ground beef and lamb seasoned with sumac, turmeric, and dill and celery seeds.

The tantalizing fragrance of fried garlic and amba wafting off a grilled eggplant turned me right into a cartoon character, poking my nostril into the air, straining for one more whiff. One night time, I used to be dissatisfied to appreciate that I had inadvertently made my hard-won reservation for the counter, the place I used to be perched on a stool the open kitchen as an alternative of the view. But I got here to see the upside: a front-row seat at the ballet that produced that eggplant; a detailed have a look at a lineup of complete cauliflower on a trolley, dry-rubbed in shawarma spices and ready their flip to be coaxed into collapse. I watched, mesmerized, as neat coils of brown-sugar comfortable serve emerged from a dispenser, to be topped with pistachios, cherry preserves, and minuscule puffed-rice pearls. I clap for the kitchen. (Grill objects, together with salatim and comfortable serve, $43-$175.) ♦


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