Newcomers to Byblos Cafe may think they’ve stumbled into a sultan’s court: belly dancers wind their way past private enclaves replete with plush footstools and gossamer curtains, and heaping trays of charbroiled meats fill the air with the scents of basil and mint. The sultry atmosphere reflects owners Roger and Ziad Estephan’s mission to share their Lebanese heritage, which they do through every minor and major detail.
Beyond the glowing candles scattered throughout the dining areas, chefs draw upon Estephan family recipes to prepare a menu of traditional Mediterranean dishes. They hand roll grape leaves around spiced rice and herbs, and they marinate meats in fragrant blends of olive oil, lemon, and garlic—the base ingredients in Lebanese Febreze. Additionally, Byblos Cafe houses an international market where diners can stock up on Middle Eastern groceries.