We ate here on Christmas Eve, and had a fantastic meal. Here are my thoughts.
Things I liked:
-ample parking in back.
-the decor was festive, which made the ambience lively. Christmas tree lights were strung everywhere, but even beyond that it just has some solid interior design that makes it fun.
-the waitstaff (and host, and cooks) were obviously middle eastern, which helps in the authenticity dept
-they were helpful and attentive (and cute)
-our meals were very good. I ordered one of the specials, the grilled, stuffed branzino. They de-bone in the kitchen (artfully--the fish is intact when it arrives on the plate).
-my son swooned over his bouillabaisse, which had mussels, clams, scallops, and a half lobster. His comment? "The best thing ever."
-although there were two very large parties in the other room (probably 25-30 people each), there was no delay in our service or meals.
-the bill was $145 for five of us (only two cocktails, which probably held the price down). My father-in-law was surprised and pleased.
Things I didn't like:
-when we were first being shown to our table, we were shown one table sort of close to the bar and kitchen, and another in a further-off room. The first room was lighter and brighter, the second darker and louder (and soon to be filled with the aforementioned two large parties). We backtracked to the first table offered.
-my husband thought he ordered a lamb skewer, and instead got a pile of gyro-lamb with some other real lamb bits. He was hesitant, the waiter practically cried to get him to tell him what was wrong so he could make it right, which my husband refused to do (because he hates sending things back). I'm not sure if the confusion was with the menu, my husband or the kitchen, but there was some confusion there somewhere.
-They use a piece of butcher paper on top of a cloth tablecloth. The paper picks up grease stains, and by the end of our meal looked pretty grubby. Ech.
Other notes on food--we ordered stuffed grape leaves, falafel, and fried zucchini cakes for apps. The grape leaves were okay (cold, served with other cold veggies), the falafel was delicious (hot, served with tahini sauce), and the zucchini cakes were a delightful surprise--crispy and flavorful.
The wine list is limited, but covers all the usual bases--glass price is $7.50-$11, with most in the $9 dept. I ordered a chardonnay (Lindeman's Bin 65) and was amazed at the large wine glass I received. $9.50 is sort of steep for a glass of wine, but the pour is generous and it lasted me through the meal. My husband ordered an Israeli beer--a crisp pilsner.
My fish had a seafood stuffing, and came with sides of rice pilaf and sauteed veggies--those sides seemed to be standard for all the entrees. My mother-in-law also had grilled fish (another kind--they had a selection of about six, some that I had never heard of, flown in from Israel). My father-in-law had lamb shank. It was one of those meals when everybody is so into their food that there's no sharing.
My son was the only one who ordered dessert--he ordered the baklava with some bitter Turkish coffee. It was hard to pick a baklava--they had walnut, pistachio, sesame--even double chocolate. The Turkish coffee is served authentically (I think?)--at least, I've been to other Turkish restaurants where they bring it out on the same ornate, swinging tray.
It was delicious. Some of us spent the ride home in a food coma (luckily, not the driver). I'd highly recommend it and will certainly go back if the opportunity presents itself.
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