What happens when philanthropist David Magerman and James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael Solomonov put their heads together? An incredibly ambitious project is born: to create the world's best glatt kosher European-Jewish restaurant! It will be poetically named Citron and Rose.
"It will not be a kosher Zahav," David Magerman tells me, referring to Michael Solomonov's renown Center City Nouveau Israeli masterpiece. "Citron and Rose will reimagine Eastern Europe. This will be a unique place!" he promises me. Citron and Rose will also provide glatt kosher catering.
David Magerman is not in the restaurant business, and never wanted to be. "I started looking for a way to provide the Jewish community with a glatt kosher restaurant with the highest standards of excellence. My philosophy is that observant Jews should not have to compromise on quality," he explained.
Citron & Rose will have a sleek, modern, and elegant look. There will be seating for sixty. Diners will be able to enjoy viewing the chefs at work in the open kitchen. The wood and marble bar will offer an extensive selection of kosher wines, beer, and spirits. It will be glatt kosher, which means that it will adhere to the strictest standards of kashrut. Kosher supervision will be conducted by the Philadelphia Vaad Hashgacha.
To prepare for the summer opening, Michael Solomonov will be travelling in Eastern Europe. He will absorb the culture and learn about the food and culinary traditions. He will then share with us the forgotten tastes and textures of our pre-War ancestors. There will be marinated meats cooked over a charcoal rotisserie grill and charcuterie made in-house. Pickles will be made using traditional recipes. Salads and vegetable dishes not generally offered will be reincarnated. Citron And Rose will also offer freshly baked breads and desserts.
This planned menu brings back childhood memories for me. I grew up in a secular Israeli family. When I was a girl, my father and I would make a pilgrimage to the Orthodox city of Bnei Brak in Israel. We went there especially to buy cured turkey meat from one of the small, artisanal purveyors. "No one spices it like the Romanians!" my dad would exclaim. I have a feeling that this restaurant will be a crucible in which such memories will be conjured up for the post-war generations by Michael Solomonov's alchemy.
Those of us who live in the Greater Delaware Valley are very fortunate. Two of Philadelphia's biggest dreamers have joined forces to create an amazing new reality. I believe that David Magerman and Michael Solomonov can turn Citron and Rose into the best kosher restaurant in the world. I am salivating already!
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