Michael Solomonov’s most recent project is a love letter to Israel. From its name — a nod to “Fiddler on the Roof” butcher Lazar Wolf — to its traditional-inspired shipudiya dishes, Laser Wolf is in a league of its own when it comes to inventive, high-quality Middle Eastern fare.
Following the almost immediate success of its Philadelphia location, the restaurant’s newest outpost is located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on the airy rooftop of The Hoxton hotel, complete with charming string lights and plenty of greenery. The open-air concept offers an incredible view of the Manhattan skyline as well as an array of made-to-order delicacies. Each dish at Laser Wolf is a labor of love, chef de cuisine Mike Mayo says. Everything down to the fries — which are freshly cut Kennebec potatoes, brined with salt and vinegar, then steamed, cooled, frozen, and fried for the ultimate crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside bite — is thoughtfully perfected to ensure guests continue to come back for more.
Unique to Laser Wolf is its oven-less kitchen. Rather than relying on tools like steamers or burners, almost every dish at the restaurant is made over the coals to impart a charred smokiness. Mayo particularly recommends the Date Harissa Wings served with tehina ranch, a plate that’s served at both locations. Not to be slept on is the amba-spiced eggplant, a melt-in-your-mouth dish topped with crunchy garlic chips, burst cherry tomatoes, and tahini.
The drinks program, helmed by director of operations Sarah Krathen, likewise provides a stunning array of Israeli flavors side-by-side with an assortment of exciting bottles. Those looking for a true Israeli experience can order the arak service, a chance to taste a selection of the anise-scented spirit favored in the country. Krathen says guests especially enjoy watching as the liquor changes from clear to milky white when a few drops of water are incorporated into it.
The brightly colored cocktails, too, embrace the flavors of Jerusalem with ingredients like fennel, guava, and passion fruit; some even include arak for added flair. Most heavily feature citrus, in true Israeli style, with the Sour Patch Kidz, a mix of Cazadores tequila, sour cherry, and lime, a standout. In homage to Solomonov’s 14-odd years of sobriety, the menu also features a thoughtful non-alcoholic drinks list, including a passion fruit cooler and Be True to Me, which features a housemade beet grenadine, fresh orange juice, and salted beet.
Laser Wolf’s wine list isn’t extensive, but it still includes a compelling variety of options — featuring some memorable bottles straight from the Holy Land. Galilee rosé sits alongside German Riesling; Golan Heights Syrah is sandwiched between six European reds. No matter which bottle you choose, you can bet it’ll be delicious, approachable, and surprisingly affordable, considering the restaurant’s rooftop locale.
As part of the Boka Restaurant Group’s monthly giving program, Laser Wolf chooses a charity to which it donates $1 for every a la carte dish ordered. In July, the restaurant donated to Planned Parenthood, and in August, it worked with Everytown for Gun Safety.
Delicious Israeli fare, well-balanced drinks, and spectacular views, all for a good cause? Count us in.