Merion Restaurant Review: Michael Solomonov's Glatt Kosher Citron and Rose

Even without dairy, pork and shellfish, you'll want for nothing at Michael Solomonov's newest establishment on Montgomery Avenue.

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Escabeche, with mackerel, cucumber salad and potato gaufrettes. (Photo by Steve Legato)
Citron and Rose

Location: 370 Montgomery Ave., Merion Station
Contact: (610) 664-4919, 
Cuisine: Glatt kosher. 
Cost: Appetizers $9-$12, entrées $14-$28, desserts $9. 
Attire: Business casual. 
Atmosphere: Smart and refined. 
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 5:30-10 p.m. 
Extras: Al fresco tables in-season; off-premises catering available.

Chef Michael Solomonov is always up for the unexpected. He opened Zahav in Old City a few years ago, bringing fresh Israeli flavors to unsuspecting diners. It took some time, but the risk he assumed has since landed him on “best of” lists locally and nationally, while earning him a coveted James Beard Foundation Award.

So it’s not a shock that Solomonov’s new Main Line venture with owner David Magerman pushes the envelope even further. “We grew up in kosher households, so this is dear to our heart,” he says of the glatt-kosher Citron and Rose in Merion Station. “We wanted to do something new and exciting and stimulating.”

What to many may seem like an untraditional approach to building a menu is actually as traditional as it comes, relying on centuries-old Jewish beliefs and techniques. Following kashrut, the dishes are made of certified glatt-kosher meats, and there is no pork, no shellfish and no dairy.

That may seem like a lot of “nos” for your average diner, but the one thing you won’t find during a meal here is a lack of flavor. “Don’t worry, we are a restaurant first,” says Solomonov.

The space is bright and modern, shedding all preconceived notions of a Sunday supper at Bubbe’s. Blond wood tables and darkly stained floors accent crisp whites and tranquil, watery blues on the walls. Linen-covered seating lines the dining room, which opens into a space that can be used as a private room for up to 15. Glass windows connect the dining room to the marble-topped bar and chef’s table, which spills into the open-concept kitchen.

The bar is a great spot to grab dinner on a busy evening, or even to commence a big night with a few  cocktails. The kosher drink list features upgraded twists on classic blends—like the Reb Roy (a Rob Roy with a dash of Manischewitz) and the Cosmonaut, in which the conventional cosmo gets an earthy enhancement thanks to beet-juice syrup instead of cranberry. We couldn’t get enough of the Tea & Sympathy, a warming highball of bourbon, honey, lemon and black tea. Kosher wines and craft beers are also available.

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