Just beyond the two year mark, this branch of the flagship Beirut restaurant is a fine addition to the eclectic dining scene in the Flatiron district. It is a very attractively decorated space. The welcome is genuine and the service is of a high standard. All of the food is tasty and some particularly memorable: the Dzadzek Almayass appetizer (yogurt, cucumber, fresh garlic and dried mint) was worth the price of admission. A trio of sesame paste, Greek olives and yogurt offered as a welcoming accompaniment to some fried or baked pita bread were all of high quality. A warm appetizer of frogs legs (fried with lemon and garlic sauce) was very good, but not sublime. Perhaps I was feeling a little guilty so soon after the most recent Muppet movie. We will have to go back to Casablanca for the gold standard.
My wife and I ordered two meat dishes, minced filet mignon, and ground beef kebabs, both featuring a sweet and sour cherry sauce. We have fond memories of similar sauces in Turkey. This sauce was sweeter than we would prefer. Next time, we will opt for the lamb chops. Fortunately, our guest had ordered fresh branzino, and she was delighted with the fish. Our side orders of rice were delicious. Our waiter was also very solicitous of our friend's need to avoid salt and butter.
For those of us without those dietary restrictions, a Lebanese-Armenian version of baklava and a fairly sweet mint sorbet were both satisfying. Since our guest was unable to have wine, we opted for a couple of glasses of a Lebanese red, and it definitely enhanced our meal.
At the end of our supper, the owner, or a manager, came over to ask how our meal had been. We appreciated that grace note, and we do look forward to returning. I wish there were more seafood dishes on the menu, but I am sure there are additional discoveries worth making here.
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