A taste of Israel is coming to West Midtown this week.
Aziza, which means "happiness" in Arabic, is slated to open July 25 in the Westside Provisions District development in the space underneath Marcel. Opening along with it will be adjoining falafel stand Falafel Nation. Both projects come from Israel native Tal Postelnik Baum, who owns Italian eatery Bellina Alimentari in Ponce City Market.
Executive chef and Macon native Brandon Hughes will run Aziza’s kitchen. He previously worked at Atlanta restaurants Aria and Bacchanalia before joining Baum at Bellina Alimentari.
The menu, which has been designed around the Israeli tradition of sharing, includes a variety of small plates including hummus dishes; Halumi with tomato, Pearson Farms peaches, and pecan dukka; roasted eggplant with charred tahina, Pearson Farm peach amba, pickles, and egg; Kibbeh Nayyeh (a traditional Israeli lamb dish) with bulgar crisp, sumac onions, and Ras Al Hanout; and watermelon with feta, harrisa, salad burnet, and nigella seeds.
Larger dishes include Chicken Tagine with Nablus olives, lemon, and fingerling potato; and Half Duck (Roasted breast and confit leg) with Moroccan carrots and spiced jus.
“Over the past few years, Atlanta has become more and more recognized as an international culinary destination,” Hughes said in a prepared statement. “You don’t have to look far to experience almost any kind of cuisine. One exception, however, until now, is elevated Israeli cuisine. Aziza is here to change that,” said Hughes. “I am thrilled to bring guests a modern take on the Israeli experience that Tal grew up with. Each dish is thoughtfully prepared with powerful, complex flavors that will leave guests wanting to discover more.”
Click on the menu to enlarge
Aziza’s team also includes bar manager Demario Wallace, pastry chef Zibaa Sammander and general manager Jeremy Iles.
On the beverage side, look for Israeli and Californian wines, local and Mediterranean craft beers and cocktails made with Mediterranean liquors.
The 3,938 square-foot space was designed by Smith Hanes and will feature an open kitchen with a wood-burning oven and indoor and outdoor seating.
For a more casual dining experience, head next door to Falafel Nation, which will serve a limited menu of to-go items including hummus bowls, falafel, sabich (an Israeli eggplant sandwich) and other vegetarian street food. The spot will feature grab-and-go bites during the day and will also be open for late-night dining.
Meanwhile, in Old Fourth Ward, Baum’s Oliva Restaurants is slated to Rina in the Ford Factory Lofts near the Eastside Beltline this fall. Rina will serve a menu featuring “modern tweaks on personal family recipes,” including a falafel recipe from Baum’s grandmother.
Aziza will begin taking reservations starting today through OpenTable.
The restaurant will be open for dinner from 5-10 p.m., with lunch and brunch hours to be added soon. Falafel Nation will be open from 11 a.m.-late.
1198 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. aziza-restaurant.com/
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