Local Restaurateurs Open Fourth Kosher Establishment

The insalata caprese is one of many kosher Italian dishes served at Sapori. (Leba D. Photography)

Restaurateurs Larry and Lara Franks continued their mission to take kosher cuisine to uncharted territories as they opened their fourth establishment, Sapori, on Smith Avenue in the Greenspring Shopping Center on May 6.

Sapori features an entirely kosher-certified dairy selection as part of a menu of classic Italian cuisine. Lara Franks says keeping a plentiful selection of kosher cheeses is the most challenging part of an otherwise simple menu.

“When making pasta, you use many of the same ingredients you would in a non-kosher environment,” she said. “Having a wide variety of kosher cheeses becomes a challenge because there just aren’t as many available in the American market as there are in the European market.”

By now, the Franks are adept at making kosher food decadent and delicious. The most trying part of establishing a new restaurant, Lara says, is everything else.

“It’s not a short process. Each one can take one to two years,” she said, listing lease negotiations and an overall vision for ambiance and aesthetic as a few of the most time-consuming tasks.

“It’s not something you just wake up one day and say, ‘You know, I think in three months’ time, I’d like to open a dairy restaurant.’”

The new Sapori space will inherit the lunch menu from one of the Franks’ other kosher restaurants, Cocoaccinos, sometime in June. Cocoaccinos will be retrofitted to serve a more fast food-style lunch and dinner menu, to be introduced once the remodel is complete.

For Lara, the opening of Sapori has been a labor of love. From its conceptualization to its design, and to the positive reactions from customers on opening day, it’s all been an extremely gratifying process. But the most gratifying element of the endeavor might be a little simpler: After all, Lara said, “who doesn’t like a good piece of cheesecake?”

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