If you’ve been to Safta, chef Alon Shaya’s temple of modern Israeli fare inside the Source Hotel & Market Hall, you know that it’s nearly impossible to avoid eating way too much of the exquisite wood-fired pita, the glorious, silky hummus (which comes in five different iterations), and the bevy of cold and hot small plates—with not an inch of table (or stomach) space remaining for entrées. So, why not embrace the smorgasbord mentality and make a meal of it? If you do, here are the dishes I always go for, in no particular order: creamy labneh with pink peppercorns; “lutenitsa,” a thick reduction of red peppers and eggplant; both the lamb and the roasted mushroom hummuses; so much pita; lamb kebabs with za’atar chimichurri; Persian rice with dried cherries; charred cabbage with muhammara; and the marvelous crispy eggplant with tomato jam and goat cheese. Desserts by pastry chef Liliana Myers range from incredibly rich chocolate-hazelnut babka to smooth, floral malabi custard to citrusy labneh cheesecake with pomegranate caramel (pictured). Pair your chosen snacks and sweets with interesting by-the-glass wines hailing from Hungary, Israel, Greece, and other Mediterranean regions. $$$$, The Source Hotel & Market Hall, 3330 Brighton Boulevard, 720-408-2444

(MORE: Read our 2019 restaurant review of Safta)

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Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.