After much anticipation, Nur Kosher Kitchen is officially open for dining. Owner Elad Hazut, who owned eight kosher restaurants in south Florida, and his business partner, David Razon, are determined to bring the many flavors of Israel to Atlanta.
Suspend reality for a moment and you may think you are in a Tel Aviv café, particularly with the current beats of Israeli music playing over the sound system and the languages of English and Hebrew mixing in the air.
Set in a colorful, contemporary space, Nur Kosher Kitchen is a family affair, with Hazut’s wife, Miri, as the salad and pastry chef; brother, Ori, assisting at the front; and dynamic, outgoing nephew, Shalev, offering menu advice as he shifts seamlessly from table to table as part of the wait staff. On a recent Sunday night, the restaurant was buzzing without a free table in the house. The room was filled with couples, families, and a large group of Israelis likely yearning for a taste of home.
The food at Nur is a fusion of the many cultures of Israel. A chicken schnitzel plate shares the menu with kofta kebab steak. Hazut recommends the house burger, filled with grilled onions and topped with house dressing, fried onions, mushrooms, jalapeño pepper, and a sunny side up egg. The 16-ounce ribeye steak is large, grilled to perfection and likely one of the best kosher steaks in Atlanta.
Steaks here come from grass-fed cows and are of prime quality, flown in from Miami and compared by Hazut to Kobe beef. Pan-roasted branzino is also a favorite, cooked in the special clay and wood-burning Lebanese Tabun oven.
Popular appetizers at Nur include Moroccan homemade cigars, bourekas (meat puff pastries), Israeli salad, and roasted eggplant with Tahini. Homemade pita and focaccia are light as a feather and simply heavenly. They are also made daily in the special Tabun oven. But a visit to Nur would not be complete without ordering the assorted fresh salad tray, composed of 12 delicious offerings, all made by Miri Hazut. In fact, a fine meal could be made with just this healthy vegetarian feast for the tastebuds. Salads include matbucha, a tangy mixture of tomatoes and garlic; beet salad; two types of eggplant salad; hummus; pickled onion salad; and an array of others. They are a must-have when visiting Nur.
“Our goal is to serve simple, fresh and flavorful food that can be found at an Israeli café,” said Hazut. Chef Kyle Kilgo, who has cooked many kosher dishes during his stints at the Ritz Carlton and Hilton hotels in Atlanta, said “My favorite part of the day is seeing the smiles on people’s faces. Our work is a labor of passion.”
Serving healthy food comes down to knowing where the food is purchased, serving fresh – never frozen food and using spices to bring out the flavors, according to both men. In addition to dinner, lunch is also offered at the restaurant, and includes pita sandwiches, filled with chicken and turkey, shawarma, falafel, and other options. Salads, shakshuka, hamburgers and an Impossible burger are also offered at lunch. There are several vegan and vegetarian options at both lunch and dinner.
On Fridays from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m., Kabbalat Shabbat is celebrated at Nur with a traditional Israeli sandwich, called a “schnitzel challah,” topped with matbucha, eggplant and pickles. Lively Israeli music is played and there is singing and dancing, according to Hazut. The challah is homemade, and carafes of Limonana, a popular Israeli drink made from mint and lemon, are enjoyed by diners.
Nur is open Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., with final orders taken at 9:30 p.m. Beer and wine is served, as well as mint tea, Turkish coffee, several juices, bottled water and soft drinks. Desserts are homemade by Miri Hazut. The restaurant is closed for Shabbat beginning at 3 p.m. on Fridays until Sundays at 11 a.m. The restaurant is located in the Global Forum Shopping Center at 7130 Buford Highway, close to the I-285 exit. Nur is certified by the Atlanta Kashruth Commission and is a welcome addition to the kosher restaurant lineup in Atlanta.