Denver is getting a modern Israeli restaurant this spring inside The Source Hotel from a well-known New Orleans-based chef.
Safta (Hebrew for “grandmother”) is the latest project from Alon Shaya, who previously won two James Beard Awards while at the helm of his eponymous restaurant Shaya, owned by John Besh’s restaurant group.
In addition to Israeli cuisine, Safta will feature dishes with influences from Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Fresh-baked pita, hummus, tahini, vegetables, and lamb dishes will be on the menu, and the restaurant will be Shaya’s first outside of Louisiana. The chef also recently announced he will open Saba (Hebrew for “grandfather”) this spring in New Orleans.
For these new projects, Shaya formed his own restaurant group, Pomegranate Hospitality. Last September he was fired from his eponymous restaurant Shaya, owned by Besh Restaurant Group, and he’s currently involved in a legal battle with his former employer over the use of his last name for the business, given the controversy around former business partner John Besh. In October, John Besh stepped down from his restaurants following 25 women’s allegations that he fostered a culture of assault and harassment in the workplace.
Safta will operate seven days a week for lunch and dinner.