Tahini hummus
Tahini hummus Photos: Jeff Marini

Zach Engel’s move from New Orleans, where he won a James Beard Rising Star Chef award while at Shaya, to Chicago, a city without a major Israeli restaurant, was momentous. Engel reconnected with his college friend, now his business partner, Andrés Clavero, who had been working at One Off Hospitality Group, and suddenly Chicagoans got what may be the country's freshest take on the glorious riot of flavors that is Israeli cuisine. Pitas emerge from the oven puffy and ready to swipe through whipped hummus topped with brisket or trumpet mushrooms. Alongside that, perhaps: a quintet of cold salads and spreads (salatim), or a kale tabbouleh, and maybe the Iraqi kubbeh stuffed with almond-studded ground lamb. It all pairs perfectly with a bright, easy-drinking Pinot Gris from Galilee.

Zach Engel and Shakshuka
Zach Engel; shakshuka

Update:Galit is open for carryout and delivery, with a weekly changing menu. You’ll always be able to get the hummus and pitas, plus a rotating selection of other dishes chef Zach Engel served before restaurants closed (if the falafel is available, snap that up). He’s also created some new dishes suited to carryout, like a lamb burger with amba mustard and za’atar aioli.