Tel Aviv Comes to Miami
Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine
By AALIYAH PASOLS
Miami has seen an influx of restaurants opening as of late. One of the most recent, Abba Telavivian Kitchen, just opened this past March in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.
The Israeli-inspired concept was developed by Omer Horev, founder and CEO of Pura Vida Miami, and Chef Samuel Gornstein, the chef and creator behind My Ceviche and Zuuk. Horev was born and raised in Tel Aviv but has lived in Miami for 15 years. He spotted the future space for Abba years ago and knew that he wanted to bring an Israeli-inspired eatery to fruition to remind him of home. Gornstein formally trained as a chef with Michael Schwartz and developed two restaurants before taking a culinary trip through Israel. Together, Horev and Gornstein curated the menu that includes influences from Israel, Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Colombia, and Greece.
Abba means “father” in Hebrew and is fitting for Horev and Gornstein, who are both fathers themselves. The name invites a feeling of familiarity and home cooked meals, and Abba lives up to this connotation, with grains, fruit, and dairy sourced from local farmers. They also state that “everything is made fresh, in-house daily.”
The dishes go beyond typical American expectations of Middle Eastern menus, with dishes one would find in a café in Tel Aviv—fresh food that showcases the melting pot of flavors from the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe.
Currently, Abba serves breakfast and lunch, with dinner planned for the near future. For breakfast, expect delicious plates such as Abba’s Breakfast, which comes with arakcitrus cured salmon, two pasture-raised eggs, labneh, cured olives, shuk salad, hummus, pickled onion, a toasted Jerusalem bagel, and tahini green harissa. For lunch, menu items like pita sandwiches and Sumac Chicken Shashlik will delight guests.
In place of the dinner menu, patrons will find a “sunset menu,” with salatim and fire baked pita, nishnushim (snacks), salads, fire-roasted fish such as a whole branzino with preserved lemon tapenade, olive oil, sea salt, and arugula salad; hummus and firebaked Jerusalem bagels, and pastries such as burekas and Nutella & Halvah Babkas. Coffee, tea, fresh juice, wine, and beer are also offered.