A good restaurant does more than just provide you with good food, it also offers an experience. Walking into Sumac, you could be easily transported into a modern, bright falafel shop in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, the smell of lemon and parsley wafting through the air, and a mélange of languages and laughter all around you. From the untreated, blond wood to the straightforward, bright flavours, this is Middle Eastern food at its best —uncluttered, fulfilling, and wholly delicious.
In the Middle East, falafel stands have traditionally been casual, thrifty affairs with little regard for aesthetic, but a high emphasis on flavour. In recent years, the food revolution has swept even this casual eatery by storm, elevating the ingredients and the atmosphere to international standards.
So when David Bloom and Raquel Zagury decided to partner together on a restaurant, their choice of a Middle Eastern eatery couldn’t have been more natural. With family in the Middle East and a lot of knowledge about this diverse cuisine, Zagury and Bloom dove headfirst into putting together their dream restaurant. After a few long months of building permits, research and menu planning, Zagury and Bloom were ready to don their chef and restaurant manager hats, respectively.
“It’s food that touches the soul,” Bloom explains.
The result is a bright, airy place with a lot of space and an easy-going, affable charm. Zagury and Bloom, who both live in the area, are proud to take part in the revitalization of St. Henri, opening on a block that in years past has mostly been full of dépanneurs and fast food joints. Bloom reports that Sumac has been enjoying a lot of food traffic and support from other St. Henri businesses and restaurants. “There are a lot of new business owners and people who are trying stuff out and taking risks [in St. Henri],” he said. “A lot of people are very supportive.”