Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov launches new falafel eatery in New York

After facing backlash from pro-Palestinian demonstrators for supporting Israel in his own restaurant in Philadelphia, Solomonov is now opening a new branch in New York that will exclusively cater to Google employees

A new branch of Goldie, the upscale falafel restaurant created by Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov, has opened in New York. But if until now the city's residents had to travel west to Philadelphia to enjoy the highly praised and award-winning falafel balls, they will now have to apply for a job at Google.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
Read more:
The new branch opened at the beginning of the week inside the new Google headquarters in Manhattan and only Google employees and their guests are able to sit at a table there and indulge in hummus. Or, as the company spokesperson stated, "I am pleased to confirm that we do have cafes in the new office and Goldie is among them."
1 View gallery
מייקל סולומונוב אסיף
מייקל סולומונוב אסיף
Chef Michael Solomonov
(Photo: Steve Legato)
This is not the only perk Google has arranged for its approximately 3,000 employees in the new 12-story office building, dubbed "a city within a building." It includes outdoor terraces overlooking a panoramic view of the Hudson River, meditation gardens, spinning rooms, psychedelic-designed workspaces, and more.
The upscale Goldie falafel - priced at $12 per pita-bread with six of the fried chickpea balls, or $6 for a plate of hummus - made headlines recently in less appetizing circumstances. Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at the entrance to the restaurant in Philadelphia in December and shouted at Solomonov, who lost his brother in an encounter in southern Lebanon with Hezbollah, "You can't hide, we accuse you of murder."
Solomonov was not present at the time, but the White House, which often invites the chef to cook at events, rushed to condemn the incident. "It is completely unjust and antisemitic to focus on restaurants serving Israeli food against the backdrop of disagreements with Israeli policy," said Andrew Bates, a White House spokesperson, in an unusual statement. "This behavior exposes the cruel and illogical double moral standard that is a calling card of antisemitism," Bates said, adding that President Biden "will always stand against such disrespectful actions."
Solomonov is considered close to senior White House officials, especially with the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, Jewish attorney Douglas Emhoff, who tends to visit his restaurants on every visit to the city.
Recently, it was revealed that the situation was more intricate than initially understood. It all began when an employee discovered that the proceeds from an event at Solomonov's restaurant were used to purchase medical equipment for the IDF in Gaza and supply ambulances to the army. She complained and requested not to attend the evening. Subsequently, a Jewish employee wore a Palestine solidarity pin to work. As a result, the following day, employees were prohibited from wearing any item not part of the restaurant uniform The employee persisted and came to work wearing clothes with a Palestinian flag and claimed she was fired as a result. Several other employees who expressed discomfort with the donations to the IDF during the bombings in Gaza also were reportedly dismissed.
In response to the treatment of their colleagues, employees protested. In light of the tense atmosphere, Solomonov and his business partner sent an email to the team apologizing for not directly acknowledging their political views, as they intended to avoid politics at work. However, this had the opposite effect. Additionally, they noted in the email that "it is important to say that our support for Israel is not unconditional. We have many criticisms, especially in the way the government has hindered the chances of establishing a Palestinian state in recent years."
The protesters claimed they had not intended to visit the restaurant that day but changed their route at the last moment, stayed for a few minutes, and left. Despite videos from the scene that prove the opposite, the employees stated that the protest was peaceful, and some even wished to join it. Solomonov's restaurant group did not provide any response regarding the events or the opening of the new branch in New York.
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.