Last year, the pandemic interrupted so many annual traditions — gathering for holidays, summer vacations, graduation ceremonies — you may not have noticed the absence of another one: top restaurant lists.
Laser Wolf, Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s Kensington skewer house, was named one of 12 best new restaurants in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. This week the publication released its 25th edition of the list, compiled and vetted by an “international network of correspondents.” It includes restaurants in Honolulu and Hong Kong, New Zealand and Switzerland, and Chicago and New York City.
Helmed by executive chef Andrew Henshaw, Laser Wolf opened in February 2020 with charcoal-grilled lamb merguez, chicken shishlik, and beef kebabs served alongside a salatim spread, hummus, and Solomonov’s trademark fluffy, char-speckled pitas. The 90-seat restaurant at 1301 N. Howard St. aimed for an informal vibe, channeling inspiration from the open-air Machane Yehuda Market in Jerusalem.
About a month and a half after opening, Laser Wolf and its fellow CookNSolo restaurants shuttered under the city’s shutdown order. It launched takeout service and a ready-to-grill menu in May 2020, followed by outdoor dining in July. It reopened for indoor dining last month.
CookNSolo is no stranger to best-of lists and top awards. Zahav has garnered a slew of James Beard Foundation awards and nominations, taking home the prize for best restaurant in America in 2019. Two years previous, Solomonov picked up outstanding chef at the same ceremony. And despite the pandemic, Laser Wolf made GQ’s 2020 roundup of best new restaurants in America.