The chefs at Salma Farah's Mediterranean Restaurant stick to the culinary traditions of the sun-steeped Lebanese and Syrian shores. Kebabs sizzle as they pour tzatziki across gyros and rolled grape leaves. Garlic and eggplant roast aromatically, bound for bowls of hummus or baba ghanouj. Steam rises from earthy, dark Arabic coffee near fatayers—baked pastries consisting of dough rolled around spinach or meat. The BYOB policy lets guests bring in their favorite vintage without having to pay a corkage fee or watch a clumsy waiter try to impress everybody with his unicycling skills when delivering bottles.
Jerusalem Grill’s falafel fixers satisfy appetites for exotic Near Eastern cuisine with flavorful dishes made with juicy grilled meats, fresh produce, and tantalizing blends of herbs and spices. Appetizers serve as a prelude to full meals with dippable delights such as baked-eggplant baba gannouj ($4.99) or house-made hummus, made from a base of ground chickpeas, garlic, and lemon juice and endowed with powers of delicious taste by an experimental serum of olive oil and creamy tahini. Grilled-chicken kebab ($12.99) enrapture taste buds with a savory retinue of veggies, rice, hummus, and salad, and falafel sandwiches ($4.59) ease rivalries among ground spiced chickpea, tomato, lettuce, and tahini by scheduling a team-building sleepover within a fluffy pita. As a delicate denouement to a fine Mediterranean dinner, slices of baklava teem with rich deposits of pistachio amid flaky layers of phyllo dough and drizzles of sweet syrup.
Plumes of aromatic smoke curl from the arms of colorful hookahs as Al-Zaituna’s chefs cook up moist yet crispy falafel and tender kebabs. Stuffed grape leaves and hummus satiate palates alongside gyro meats nestled into pitas that are baked daily, and sips of turkish coffee power up neural search engines.
Traditional Mexican ingredients abound at Agave Kitchen + Bar, but they’re used in decidedly inventive ways. Tequila and jalapeño flavor the Chilean sea bass in the form of a pesto, and guacamole decorates the plate of the agave burger, dressed with swiss cheese, red onion, and pineapple. Housemade corn tortillas wrap around shredded beef for flautas, fresh mole sauce drapes over chicken, and a refreshing apricot glaze adds a delicate sweetness to salmon fillets. Spirited beverages materialize at the eatery’s rustic bar area, which is almost entirely formed of brick save for large TVs and the bartender’s right arm.
The dining room at View Restaurant and Terrace Lounge certainly lives up to its name. Wall-spanning windows look out onto the city and rolling hills in the distance, allowing diners to enjoy their casual fine-dining meals while gazing at views usually reserved for low-flying superheroes. Inside, the aesthetic is modern: colored lights fill the sleek, all-white interior with a bluish glow, glinting off of the liquor bottles behind the contoured bar. In the evenings, the space transforms into a lounge with local DJs, as crowds spill out onto the terrace to sip specialty martinis and domestic and imported beers.