A series of small plates, like a series of small fires, is more eye-catching when put out on the table. Fan the flames of flavor with today’s Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Lebanese fare at Semiramis.
Chef and owner Joseph (ZouZou) Abraham concocts an authentic Lebanese menu of award-winning small plates fit for pairing with a liberal BYOB policy. Voted Best Falafel by Chicago magazine, Semiramis's famed falafel ($4 for four pieces; $6 for a sandwich) delights diners with a subtle fusion of light, refreshing ingredients. Similarly, the vegetarian plate unites hummus, baba gannouj, tabbouleh, falafel, and dolma in a meatless parade ($12+), and lentil soup ($3.50) charms palates with a subtle kick. And like a pop supergroup, the chef's lamb, beef, and chicken shawarma are lean, spicy, and impossibly catchy ($6+ for a sandwich; $12+ for an entree).
The prices on Semiramis' menu are subject to change.
Semiramis may be located half a world away from Lebanon, but that doesn't stop owner and chef Joseph "ZouZou" Abraham from closely recreating the country's cuisine. The restaurant's team marinates olives in-house, stuffs shawarmas with lean cuts of lamb, chicken, and beef, and spoons sides of hummus and tahini sauce alongside the grilled kabobs. At the same time, Semiramis features a broad selection of vegetarian-friendly items, including everything from plates of baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, and dolmas to crispy falafel served fresh from the fryer.
From the Press
- Chicago Magazine named Semiramis' "piping hot" falafel the best in the city in 2009.
- "On a sunny day, this Lebanese café is warm and full of light. On darker days, the food provides the sunniness," says Time Out Chicago.
- The Chicago Reader heaps praise upon the lamb and beef shawarma sandwich, "a textural marvel of juicy, caramelized meat wrapped in thin lavosh with roasted eggplant, red cabbage, tomatoes, pickles, hummus, and harissa-spiked tahini."
A Peek Inside
Ornate rugs don't only adorn the tile floors at Semiramis; they also decorate the cream-colored wall that lies behind the dining room's banquette seating. Solitary pendant lamps dangle from the ceiling and cast a gentle glow across the space's rich wooden tables and cinched, drape-like fabric in the center of the room.