The first European explorers set sail with hopes of finding new, exotic spices to placate the palates of epicurious monarchs, but all they found were heaps of inedible gold. Pick up where they left off by broadening your mouth's horizons with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of Lebanese fare at Maza in Lincoln Park.
Seductive, smooth-talking hummus and tender, marinated lamb are just a few of the authentic offerings that greet Maza customers looking for an unhurried Middle Eastern meal. Kick off a romantic dinner or platonic meeting of mouths with a plate of perfectly fried falafel ($4), or test gastro-geometry skills by dividing fatayer bil jubn, triangular phyllo dough pie stuffed with three imported cheeses ($4). Kellaya, a traditional entree, combines bite-size morsels of lamb, beef, chicken, and vegetables, simmered in an herb infused red sauce ($11), and shawarma gives customers their choice of thinly sliced marinated meats readied on a rotating spit like the most delicious of cartoon enemies ($11).
Leading a list of broiled specialties, Maza's Signature Entree for two presents lambateurs and seasoned lamb lovers alike with a juicy crown rack of lamb filled with rice, minced sirloin, herbs, almonds, and pine nuts ($48). The dazzling dish is then flambéed to order at the table, inviting diners to warm themselves or roast marshmallows in the intoxicating glow. No matter where you sit in Maza’s clean, casual dining room, the friendly, attentive serving staff will try to meet any request, except for those beginning with "I dare you to…." Groupon holders should remember that reservations and the ability to breathe above ground are required for total meal nirvana.
Inside Maza Restaurant, glass urns filled with grains of rice and a variety of herbs remind diners of the diverse array of ingredients used to construct traditional Lebanese dishes, several of which drew praise from the diners on Check, Please!. Entrees include kebabs of charbroiled meats—such as lamb, chicken, and beef—and fresh seafood, including red snapper and trout. Chefs also create an ample assortment of vegetarian dishes and sweet desserts. In addition, Maza Restaurant helps hosts feed guests during parties, small get-togethers, and late-night talk shows with their catering services.