The Mediterranean Sea shaped some of the Old World's most successful civilizations, whose citizens gathered by its shores waiting for the falafel, tapas, and wine growing on the sea floor to wash up on the beach. Procure a similarly fresh seaside meal with today's Groupon. For $10, you get $20 worth of casual Mediterranean cuisine at Café Izmir.
This small, family-owned café appeared one day after a mysterious dust storm and has been a fixture of lower Greenville ever since. Like a neighbor's WiFi, dinner and its delectables are best when shared. Most dishes at Café Izmir come on small plates ideal for Frisbee tossing around the table, creating a spinning kaleidoscope of flavor and color. Nab and pass some hummus ($5.25), tabouli rife with lemon and parsley ($3.95), or a cheese plate with grapes, walnuts, roasted garlic, and fresh herbs ($8.95). Graze upon the grilled quail on a pillowy pile of honey champagne couscous ($8.95), or simply pounce unashamedly atop the grilled lamb chops with sweet potatoes (market price).
Nowadays, most restaurants offer fiercely competitive atmospheres where diners defensively guard their plates and carry concealed steak knives and forks in clear violation of international law. Although the healthy, freshly prepared dishes are hard to give up, the overwhelming hospitality flowing throughout inspires even the stingiest of diners to divvy up their delicious eats.
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.
3711 Greenville Ave.
Dallas, Texas 75206Get Directions