Every year, Esquire magazine’s John Mariani puts together a list of the 20 best new restaurants in the U.S. This year, two lucky Philly spots were among the group that achieved top honors. It should come as no surprise to those who’ve been to either Distrito or Zahav that the two additions to our already-thriving restaurant scene are more than deserving of the honor.
Jose Garces’ new Mexican restaurant Distrito perfectly completes the experimental chef’s trifecta of hip tapas destinations (Garces is also behind Old City’s Amada and Rittenhouse’s Tinto). His new venue, logically placed in University City, is less expensive and more approachable than its refined siblings—but the food you’ll get here is still just as awe-inspiring. Think shrimp and spicy tomato ceviche, and pulled pork and pineapple salsa tacos. Yum.
You’ve probably walked past Zahav without realizing it. The second-floor Israeli restaurant is situated slightly off the beaten Old City path, but if you’re like many a food-loving Philadelphian, you’ll be sure to change that. With a menu that includes a variety of hummuses, skewers and other traditional Middle-Eastern delights, you really can’t go wrong. Chef Michael Solomonov named the restaurant after the Hebrew word for “gold," the color of the medal it definitely deserves.