It's a good problem to have: Citron and Rose, Michael Solomonov's new kosher restaurant, is maybe too popular.
"I got emailed twice today for reservations for tonight," said Ron Didner, director of operations for the restaurant, on Wednesday.
The only issue is, Citron and Rose isn't opening until at least mid-September.
"I've had to turn down about 20 requests for reservations," Didner said. "We’ve got a considerable interest, with people already trying to dine at our restaurant."
Citron and Rose, located at 368 Montgomery Ave in Merion (down the block from Hymie's Deli), will focus on upscale kosher cuisine with an Eastern European influence. The focus was inspired by a trip Solomonov and business partner Steven Cook took to Montreal, in which they were struck by the Romanian influence of cuisine in the city, Didner said.
"We’re striving to do a really high quality, ... high cuisine restaurant," Didner said.
The kitchen will be led by Solomonov, with Yehuda Sichel as chef des cuisine, Tova du Plessis as sous chef and Jae Shin as catering chef. The restaurant will be kosher supervised by Community Kashrus of Philadelphia.
Many entrees will feature duck and aged steaks as well as Citron and Rose's own house-made charcuterie, Didner said. Specific items to look forward to include an Italian wedding soup with a Jewish influence using matzo balls, and a Salade Lyonnaise, made with duck bacon.
The catering at Citron and Rose will focus heavily on meats, Didner said, and the restaurant will aspire to be "the premiere high-level kosher caterer for the area." Several weddings in late fall and early winter are already booked.
The restaurant will seat about 80 and will include bar seating, a chef's counter where patrons can sit and watch the chef cook, a dining area and a private room for parties. It will be open Sundays through Thursdays.
Merion was chosen because it is an area "where there is an interest and a need" for upscale kosher cuisine, Didner said.
Citron and Rose was originally slated for a late summer opening. Ongoing constuction has delayed plans, leaving many foodies—including about 10 a week who contact Didner directly, he said—asking, 'When?'
"That’s the million dollar question," Didner replied. "We’re not exactly sure, ... but likely mid- to end of September or October."
In the near future, the restaurant will be hiring staff, likely once an opening date becomes more concrete.
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