Cafe Izmir's homestyle Mediterranean menu, derived from a recipe book penned by the owners’ Mama Nazy, flaunts influences from Turkish, Lebanese, and Persian cuisines. Tapas-style plates engender feelings of sharing with citrus-spiked tabouleh and warmed eegra, a tomato-speckled dip of grilled baby eggplant. Mama Nazy’s beloved hummus, accented with a pinch of house spice blend, won the accolades of the Dallas Observer, which named it the city’s Best Hummus in 2010. Its garlicky aroma is so pronounced that the café also offers a Date Night hummus, garlic-free for more romantic tableside recitations of the Gettysburg Address. Carnivorous tastes can gravitate toward spice-marinated entrees off the grill, from quail served on honey-champagne couscous to lamb chops accompanied by sweet potatoes.
Cafe Izmir cultivates a warm, intimate environment with dim, crimson lighting offset by scores of dangling icicle lights. Plush booths form a perimeter around tables topped with marigold linens, which echo any sunny accents within paintings on a spotlit wall. On weekends, crisp Spanish guitar notes intermingle with the aromas in the air, and each month the café hosts a new exhibit of local art.