Like its big sister, Oleana Restaurant, Sofra Bakery & Cafe is an institution in the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts. A collaboration of Oleana chef and founder Ana Sortun and business partner and pastry chef Maura Kilpatrick, Sofra is a reflection of the cafés and souks the two have visited throughout their travels to the Middle East. As they explain, the word “encompasses everything you bring to the table: food, place settings, glassware, decor, linens.” Add the suffix “miz,” and it becomes “our sofra,” which is as much a place as a feeling of warmth and hospitality. Since 2008, the two have been sharing that spirit in dishes like feta pogaca, a flaky biscuit made with carrots and dill, offered along with other breakfast treats. At lunchtime, folks order flatbreads, falafel, and fattoush. You’ll find these recipes and many more in this gorgeous cookbook accompanied by photos by Kristin Teig so mouthwatering that it’s actually difficult to look at this book on an empty stomach. Thankfully, because Sortun and Kilpatrick demystify ingredients and gear preparations for an American audience, you won’t stay hungry for long.
Don’t miss: Lamb Shawarma with Pickled Cabbage and Tahini. While the components take some time to make, they can be made ahead and come together in a perfectly balanced bite that makes you crave more.