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NYC Restaurateur Brings Israeli Street Food To North Jersey

Sagi Ohayon is bringing Israeli street food to North Jersey.
Sagi Ohayon is bringing Israeli street food to North Jersey. Photo Credit: Contributed

A New York City restaurateur is bringing an authentic Israeli restaurant to Essex County.

 Sagi Ohayon, who was born and raised in Israel, is opening Chutzpah Kitchen in Maplewood this week.

The menu will feature popular Middle Eastern sandwiches such as falafel, kufta and schnitzel. Chutzpah Kitchen will showcase modern takes on Middle-Eastern flavors with a shawarma spiced cauliflower, varying entrees, appetizers and more. 

Vegan and vegetarian options will be available.

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word that translates to audacity or boldness. The chutzpah of the flavors will transport patrons to the streets of Tel Aviv. Chutzpahis the spirit of Chutzpah Kitchen, serving food with bold flavors and a warm smile, Ohayon said.

The Chutzpah Kitchen concept was conceived by Ohayon, who spent most of his life in the restaurant world. 

Since 2008, he has owned and operated NYC’s Cafe Delectica, a vibrant cafe with a strong special event and catering division. 

He and his family have called Maplewood home for the past five years and Ohayon has been yearning to bring “the flavors and boldness of an Israeli shuk (market) to SOMA and the surrounding areas," he said.

Ohayon is partnering with Corporate Executive turned Serial Entrepreneur, and South Orange resident, Tanmoy Jadhav -- the founder and Ceo of Digital Made Easy. Together, they hope to bring elevated fast-casual dining to the area.

In response to the current climate, Ohayon designed the menu, optimized for takeout and delivery, so he focused on items that will travel well. Once some restrictions are lifted Chutzpah Kitchen will feature additional options such as brunch, special events, and more.

Chutzpah Kitchen,175 Maplewood Ave., Maplewood. Opens Thursday, Oct. 29 with a limited menu.

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