Long before the nearby Egyptians built their pyramids, Lebanon was home to massive monuments made entirely out of hummus, which were later destroyed by invading pita triangles. Take a bite out of history with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Lebanese cuisine at Mezza.
Voted Best Middle Eastern restaurant by the Coast, Mezza features a menu of elegantly presented Lebanese edibles made fresh from local meats and produce. Start with a traditional dish of hummus, a creamy blend of roasted chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon ($7.95), before segueing into one of the many main courses. Savour some sea flavours with a marinated fillet of fresh Atlantic salmon ($26.95), or fill out the lapels of your meat-brigade uniform with some lamb medallions, marinated, grilled, and served with roasted potatoes and seasonal vegetables ($27.95). The menu also provides kabobs, skewered with vegetables or a variety of meats, such as spiced lamb, Angus beef, or tiger shrimp ($16.95–$24.95). Cool spice-induced mouth flames with a soothing glass of wine from Mezza's extensive list, which features a diverse selection of domestic and imported fermentations.
Mezza encompasses diners in comfort with its elegant interior. The wooden parquet floor houses both high-backed wood chairs as well as cozy two-person booths, and the mural-covered walls are bedecked with sconces that bathe the dining area in a soft-glow reminiscent of sitting inside a dimly lit light bulb.
Comprising an upscale restaurant, several casual kitchens, and a catering team, Mezza wears a few different faces, but all of them are distinctly Lebanese. That is to say, they celebrate fresh seafood, vibrant veggies, and juicy meats, seasoned with olive oil, garlic, lemon, and herbs. At the Quinpool location, chefs craft hot and cold mezzet—small plates—such as baba ghanouj and Lebanese sausages, warming up appetites for lamb and beef kabobs served on plates piled with rice, potatoes, and seasonal produce. Servers help quell the spiciness of the accompanying chili sauce by pouring local beers, Lebanese wines, and colorfully potent cocktails directly into guests' mouths. On some nights, live music from the strings of a traditional oud wafts through the sleek but earthy space.
As for Mezza's other locations, chicken shawarma and all-beef donair can be savored as late as 4 a.m. at the Barrington Street location. It can be sure of drawing a crowd even into the wee hours—Mezza perennially tops The Coast’s readers’ poll for Best Middle Eastern/Persian restaurant. Explaining its streak of wins in 2012, The Coast wrote: “It’s simple—the food is fresh, high quality and tasty.”