Chef Alon Shaya announced plans to open two Israeli restaurants this spring. Saba, which means grandfather in Hebrew, will open in Uptown and focus on the chef's Israeli heritage, including the country's culinary influences from the Middle East, Europe and North Africa.
The James Beard Award-winning chef also will open the modern Israeli restaurant Safta (grandmother, in Hebrew) in the Source Hotel + Market Hall in Denver, Colorado.
Shaya's restaurant group, Pomegranate Hospitality (www.pomhospitality.com), made the announcement in a release. The news comes amid a court battle between the chef and his former boss, John Besh, over the continued use of Shaya's name at the restaurant. That trademark dispute is pending in federal court.
Shortly after leaving the Magazine Street restaurant, Shaya launched Pomegranate Hospitality and tapped James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef award-winner Zachary Engel as culinary director. Former Shaya general manager Sean Courtney is director of operations.
According to a Feb. 20 release, chef de cuisine Cara Peterson will helm Saba's kitchen. The menu will include wood-fired pita bread and dishes inspired by the cuisines of Bulgaria, Yemen, Syria, Morocco, Turkey, Palestine and Greece.