Sofra's fourth-generation Turkish chef assembles a menu of authentic Turkish cuisine updated for the modern palate. After a long night of trimming the neighbor’s hedges into grazing cattle, customers can refuel with mashed zucchini, carrots, and potatoes flattened into pancakes ($9.95) and topped with yogurt and tomatoes. Adventurous diners can sample breaded and fried calf’s liver ($7.95) before savoring char-grilled, marinated cubes of lamb shish kebab ($18.95) or turkish ravioli stuffed with ground beef and topped with garlic-yogurt sauce ($14.95). Chicken chops ($15.95) lounge atop a bed of rice, char-grilled tomatoes, and green peppers, looking as appealing as a cushy mattress stuffed with hundred-dollar bills. Sofra does not charge a corkage fee, encouraging guests to bring their own libations.
Muscle Maker Grill grew out of a small smoothie shop, where owner Rod Silva prepared health-conscious alternatives to fast food. The restaurant has since expanded with a menu tailored to accommodate diners with vegetarian, carb-free, and gluten-free diets. The new "lighter side" menu features healthy treats that are 400 calories or less under $5.99. The crew prides themselves in creating healthy versions of popular foods, and continues to serve the shop’s original protein shakes with favorites such as chocolate peanut butter and strawberry banana. Additionally, Muscle Maker Grill displays the calorie count for each dish on the menu.
This down-home restaurant's menu hosts a heap of traditional Southern comfort foods served by an attentive and friendly staff. Start off with a scoop of hush puppies, a cornbread-pepper medley served with maple butter ($7), and then chow down on some vegetarian corn chowder ($5). Tempt Northern taste buds with new entrees, such as the Alabama blackened catfish, served with tartar sauce and a sidecar of collard greens ($16), or the fried chicken and waffles with a gob of green-bean casserole ($16). The baby-back ribs quell carnivorous cravings with a smattering of barbecue sauce and a side of fries ($17). Conclude forays into Southern cuisine with a swig of a non-alcoholic mint julep ($3) and a slice of hummingbird cake, made with pecans, pineapple, and banana, and capable of flapping its frosting 90 times per second ($6).
Founded in 2007, Mediterranea’s cuisine pulls influences from all around the Mediterranean Sea, integrating village traditions from places such as Syria, Lebanon, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Morocco, and Spain. The restaurant is owned by the Homsi family, who emigrated from Syria in 1987. Their roots shine through with healthy and natural menu items including baba ghanouj, spicy shrimp arrabbiatta, half-roasted chickens, and kebabs. While making kebabs, chefs marinate morsels of filet mignon, lamb, or chicken before grilling them and serving them with a yogurt garlic dip. The chefs continue to innovate and create by adding new menu items inspired by home cooking.
The Homsi brothers decorated the space with custom-made furniture from Damascus and illuminated it with delicate beaded chandeliers from Turkey. Colorful artwork adorns the walls, coordinating with the cream and gold hues that dominate each chair or pillow-strewn bench. In the hookah lounge or on the patio, patrons lounge on cushy couches, exhaling sweet blooms of hookah smoke and sipping from BYOB bottles of wine.