The best way to familiarize oneself with a different country's culture is to spend 10–15 years in one of its maximum-security prisons, but the second-best way is to taste its cuisine. Learn about the Mediterranean with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of East Mediterranean fare at Andy's Mediterranean Grille, valid at the Nassau Street location.
Amid a rustic, exposed-wood setting, Andy's Mediterranean Grille's chefs draw upon a collection of family recipes from the restaurant’s Lebanese immigrant founders to craft Middle Eastern classics such as kebabs, falafel, and shawarma, earning kudos from Cincinnati Magazine's Best of the City and Reader's Choice awards in 2009. The award-winning shish tawook skewers marinated and charbroiled chicken breast with complex calculus questions before leaving it to commiserate with seasoned rice and labneh yogurt spread ($16). Relax on the enclosed heated patio and nibble savory kibbeh, which fuses chopped lamb, onion, and bulgar wheat into flavorful bundles ($16), and baba gannouj melds tahini and eggplant for a creamy, delicate flavor ($7). Baklava as layered as Santa Claus’s winter wardrobe drips honey onto waiting tongues ($3.50), and undulating belly dancers sweeten the visual plane on weekends.
Andy’s Mediterranean Grille
As a young Lebanese man living in Cincinnati, Andy Hajjar found himself longing for the tahini, mint, and feta flavors of his family’s home cooking. Once his mother and brother joined him in the US, the three of them decided to start a deli. Their corner establishment quickly burgeoned into an award-winning restaurant, Andy’s Mediterranean Grill, where they continue to share family recipes without asking relatives to adopt every diner first. Their talent with seasoning lamb—which they grind, chop, marinate, and even serve tartar, if a diner orders in advance—landed Andy on WCPO Channel 9, where he showed the audience how to make lamb burgers. When preparing skewers of charbroiled tenderloin, cilantro-flavored sea scallops, and flatbread pizzas, the kitchen also relies on fresh ingredients and house marinades. Diners can also sip dozens of beers or wines, including some from Lebanon, Israel, and Turkey, as they relish the old-fashioned coziness of a wood-burning stove and the modern joys of a flat-screen television. On weekend evenings, belly dancers appear, and on any evening guests can lounge on black-and-red striped cushions in the wood-paneled hookah room. The Hajjars also sell marinades, salad dressing, and Turkish coffees through Andy’s International Market, which helps customers stock the pantry in their own apartment, home, or sandcastle.
906 Nassau St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45206