September 21, 2023


World Trip Is Really Fun

All-Day Israeli Cafe Ok’Far Opens in Williamsburg

All-Day Israeli Cafe Ok’Far Opens in Williamsburg

On a latest Friday, the foyer of Williamsburg’s Hoxton Lodge hums with life. Thirty-year-olds with blurred Zoom backgrounds rattle off standing updates into their AirPods for all to listen to, lodge friends strut down the stairwell with suitcases to LCD Soundsystem, and within the minutes earlier than 5 p.m., a small crowd amasses across the room’s central elevator — the doorway to Laser Wolf, an acclaimed Israeli skewer spot on the lodge’s rooftop 9 tales above. Dim the lights, and you could possibly be taking a look at New York’s subsequent hottest membership.

It would shock you to study that not everyone seems to be a visitor of the lodge. An worker working the foyer that afternoon says the loiterers include a mixture of locals who come right here to work “from house” and guests from out of city. Surveying the scene, it’s clear {that a} functioning ecosystem has been constructed across the free Wi-Fi and cozy lounge furnishings right here. All that’s lacking are cups of espresso and one thing to eat.

Ok’Far, the lacking puzzle piece, opens on Tuesday, November 22. The brand new restaurant, whose title means “village” in Hebrew, comes from Michael Solomonov and Steve Prepare dinner, the restaurateurs behind Philadelphia’s acclaimed Israeli restaurant Zahav. After opening an outpost of Laser Wolf on the Hoxton this spring, Solomonov and Prepare dinner are bringing a full-service restaurant, bar, and cafe to its floor ground.

Customers work on laptops in the lobby of the Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg.

The foyer of the Hoxton Lodge.

At roughly 150 seats, Ok’Far is nearly double the scale of Laser Wolf upstairs, unfold out throughout a central eating room and a smaller seating space within the again. Within the foyer, close by, the staff will function a restaurant counter with espresso, pastries, and bagel sandwiches, together with a bar serving cocktails, Israeli wines, and beer.

Pull up a chair in any of those areas and the philosophy of design instantly asserts itself: If a floor isn’t destined for meals, put a potted plant on it. Within the restaurant, the nice and cozy eating room is dressed for fall with salmon chairs, customized tiling, and orange cubicles that form of resemble a pleasant pair of corduroy pants. In just a few weeks, the staff will prolong service to a 40-seat enclosed patio whose roof might be opened in hotter months.

A sticky bun is topped with chunks of crushed pistachio.

The pistachio sticky bun.

An egg sandwich on a smashed Jerusalem bagel.

A breakfast sandwich with za’atar and zhug on a Jerusalem bagel.

In Philadelphia, the place Ok’Far opened in 2019, the bakery has change into recognized for its “Yemenite lattes” (espresso combined with cinnamon and cardamom), Jerusalem bagels (a crusty, elongated bagel dotted with sesame seeds), and different daytime fare. In Brooklyn, Solomonov desires the spot to be considered extra of an any-occasion, all-day restaurant. The eating room can really feel like extra of an important day spot at night time, however the truth there’s a takeout counter with pastries and occasional leaves open the opportunity of “folks coming down from their lodge rooms in pajamas,” he says.

The restaurant opens for breakfast at 8 a.m. every morning for espresso, pastries, and toasts toasts served on kubaneh, a Yemenite pull-apart bread that’s baked within the type of a Pullman loaf after which reduce into slices. Baked items, accessible from the restaurant and for takeout from the counter within the foyer, come from chef Katreena Kanney, who was on the opening staff of Ok’Far in Philadelphia. Along with the anticipated babka and rugelach, she’s making pistachio sticky buns and borekas full of feta cheese.

Salads and a kubaneh patty soften be part of the menu round 11 a.m., and on weekends, look out for labneh pancakes, pita French toast, and shakshuka at brunch.

Four plates of food are arranged on a circular table at K’Far, a new restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Dinner is served at Ok’Far.

Dinner, which begins at 5 p.m. every night time, is technically new. The meal made a short look at Ok’Far in Philadelphia when the restaurant first opened, however simply one of many dishes on the nighttime menu — the chraim, a tomato stew served with grouper and two lengthy sizzling peppers — has been served earlier than. The menu lists round eight appetizers and as many entrees, together with a brief rib with amba and passionfruit, and a novel tackle hen schnitzel that’s breaded in shredded filo dough.

In different phrases, it’s continuous consuming. “In Israel, meals don’t begin or cease,” Solomonov says. “They keep on.” Discover Ok’Far within the foyer of the Hoxton lodge, Sunday to Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Thursday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to midnight.

Plants hang from the ceiling of a dining room in Brooklyn, Williamsburg.

The eating room seats about twice as many individuals as Laser Wolf.

Seats and plants in a covered outdoor patio at K’Far, a restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

An out of doors patio will seat about 40 folks when it opens this fall.