Where to Simcha, a modern Israeli restaurant in Sharon.
Why You’ve worn out all your Yotam Ottolenghi cookbooks and can’t get to Bavel in L.A., Galit in Chicago, Nur in New York, Sababa in D.C., Saba in New Orleans, Safta in Denver, or Zahav in Philadelphia for dinner tonight. Chefs across the country are serving their own interpretations of Israeli cuisine, and Simcha’s Avi Shemtov is part of that conversation.
The Back Story In 1949, Shemtov’s grandparents emigrated from Turkey to Israel. His father, Yona, born there, would later leave Israel for the United States and become a chef. Avi, a Sharon native, followed in his father’s footsteps, serving falafel, shawarma, and more out of the Chubby Chickpea food truck he founded in 2010. After testing out the Simcha concept as a pop-up in Roslindale, Shemtov opened the Sharon brick-and-mortar in March. Simcha means “joy” in Hebrew. It was also the name of Avi Shemtov’s grandmother.
What to Eat The $20 chef’s tasting menu at the bar is a no-brainer. It gives you the chance to sample many of Simcha’s dishes, and it’s a steal. It might include hummus made from Maine bumble-bee beans with wood-fired pita, charred carrots drizzled with tahini, beets with labneh and the spice blend dukkah, shrimp with ramps and Israeli couscous, Yemenite fried chicken in a spiced chickpea batter, and “poutine” made with short rib, beef gravy, and feta over chickpea fries. (That’s not your bubbe’s flanken.) And maybe a few more things, plus dessert.
What to Drink Shemtov is also behind the Tapped Beer Truck, a bar-on-wheels bringing craft beer to events. Simcha highlights Massachusetts beer on tap and serves cans produced mostly by regional breweries. You’ll also find wine (the house red and house white are $6 per glass) and cocktails such as the Arak Sour.
The Takeaway Simcha is a relaxed, convivial stop for mezze and more that should be a welcome addition in Sharon, where the restaurant scene is limited but slowly growing.
370 South Main St., Sharon, 781-867-7997, www.simcharestaurant.com