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best middle eastern/lebanese in NYC?

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Hello! I am going to be in NYC for one evening in mid october and I am looking to have a fantastic, authentic middle eastern meal. having lived in the middle east for a few years, I like to venture beyond just shawarma and hummus (although those are delicious too!)

am looking for a wide variety of mezza to try, sambousick and sfiha are a must! kafta meshwi, farrouj and a mixed grill would be the sort of entrees im looking for. even if its just a great place to enjoy a few mezza with my significant other before heading to a later dinner elsewhere, thats fine too.

dont really care too much about atmosphere, but would consider it a plus if the restaurant offered a semi-romantic experience and something other than what I can find in maryland.

in general: what do you think is the best middle eastern food in nyc?

Thanks in advance for your help! :)

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  1. As Middle Eastern food is my favorite type, I can make a few suggestions:

    -Moustache Cafe (West Village location): not a very romantic atmosphere (very casual in fact), but consistently good food and prices. In a charming neighborhod as well. Gets pretty crowded so you'll probably have a wait. Check it out:
    http://www.menupages.com/restaurantde...

    -Another place related to Moustache on around 4th street between Avenues A and B - I am blanking on the name! It offers two seatings per night, one at 7 pm and another at 9 pm. In terms of ambiance, it may be more what you are looking for - low tables and dim lighting, I think they have hookah too. It is a fixed price menu ($30 I think) and they bring out TONS of food - start with various dips and cute little pitas, then on to mains (several types) and then deserts. The food is pretty good but the ambiance and the freshness of the food is the main draw for me.

    -If you want to venture out beyond Manhattan Brooklyn Heights has some terrific Middle Eastern food on Atlantic Avenue. The places here are pretty casual but also not too pricey. My favorites are Fountain Cafe (on Atlantic between Clinton and Court Streets) and another place on HIcks Street at Atlantic that I forget the name of. Both have excellent kebabs, salads, shawarma, and more!

    I hope this helps!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Eager to Eat

      oops! i was writing at the same time as you it seems. the place you mention on 4th st is mamlouk. (call for reservations)

      moustache also has an EV location on 10th st-- the food is fresh, also delicious. the service slow but slightly friendlier than the west village location. more of a casual place, and less of a time commitment than mamlouk

      1. re: freddie

        Mamlouk is a good bet. the place on Atlantic between Henry and Hicks in Brooklyn is Waterfalls Cafe and is excellent. Their Shawarma and baba are fantastic. no real atmosphere to speak of, but a homey place with terrific food. Mamlouk has more in the way of atmosphere, romance and experience.

      2. re: Eager to Eat

        up here by columbia there's a little lebenese place called 'amir's' that makes an awesome shishkabob sandwich. they make it with pieces of grilled steak instead of the standard cubes. :)

        1. re: Eager to Eat

          Love Moustache. Tasty food in a warm, inviting setting.

        2. mamlouk offers a great night, with a prix fixe menu ($35 pp), lovely atmosphere, great mezze/apps, delicious entrees. you have to have a couple hours and an enormous appetite.

          i wouldn't claim that it's the best middle eastern food in nyc, but it is the best i've had...

          1. While unfortunately outside of Manhattan, I believe Tanoreen in Brooklyn to be the best Middle Eastern in the city. Fresh and interesting mezze selections (the fried dandelion greens a must), and wonderful entrees in a storefront setting. Absolutely the best kibbe I have ever had.

            1 Reply
            1. not sure if it's considered middle eastern (it may be more EU-ish!), but Turkish Kitchen on 27th and 3rd is phenomenal! great mezze and amazing main courses. great drinks too.

              1. Thanks for all your help, I've definitely jotted down all those restaurants and hope to try them all in the future! Will probably be going to moustache or mamlouk...sounds really yummy. Again, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and experience!