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Al Wadi Serves Up RIchly Flavored Lebanese Food in Lovely Surroundings

s
SuzieCK Jan 9, 2014 06:43 AM

Taking advantage of a $30 Groupon, three of us ventured to West Roxbury to Al Wadi to experience their Lebanese food. What we found was attentive service and richly-flavored dishes that felt like home. We began with a fresh, crunchy fattoush salad and an order of kibbe. The salad was delightful with the very thin pita toasted before being lightly dressed with a lemony dressing. Then we feasted upon the raw lamb kibbe -- so rich yet fresh and mouth-filling. We also had a lamb stew, long cooked with tomatoes and meltingly-tender green beans. Just the tiniest hint of cinnamon made this dish superb. We were too full for dessert but wishes we had more room to sample them. At the end of the evening, our total bill was just $55 and after the Groupon discount, well, it was a steal. Of course we left a proper tip based on the original total -- only correct when using a Groupon. We will definitely go back, perhaps this time with more people so we can sample even more of their expansive menu. Worth the trip.

  1. Science Chick Jan 9, 2014 08:07 AM

    Thanks, SuzieCK (related to Louis?)....I ate there once and was duly impressed as well. I rarely get over to that side of town anymore, but you are reminding me that I should! I hope their involvement with Groupon doesn't indicate lacking business. Was there good patronage there that night?

    1. t
      Taralli Jan 9, 2014 08:21 AM

      Our waiter, Khalid, immediately came to our table, greeted us, saw & took the Groupon, brought us water and came back with a warm basket of pita wedges and a small bowl of olive oil, w/Zaatar, s&p and sesame seeds for dipping. We also had an order of warm Kibbeh Krass(4 beef dumplings stuffed w/minced beef, a hint of onions & pine nuts served w/chilled tzatziki-like yogurt sauce) as another app. These were a little dry, but still flavorful & the sauce helped. The raw lamb kibbe niyeh w/crunchy bulgur, herbs & olive oil was incredibly rich, akin the richness of the minced kitfo w/clarified butter at Habesha. In fact, we were so full by the end, that we could only finish about half, & I was the lucky recipient of the leftover portion. The kibbe had a large dolop of garlicky mayonnaise at one corner of the serving board which had us wondering if this is traditional vs. a garlicky yogurt sauce - does anyone know? The loubiye lamb & green bean stew had big, tender chunks of lamb that shredded with a fork in a delicious, complex brown tomato sauce w/hints of cinnamon, ?all spice and other herbs & spices. This was accompaniend by a bowl of rice pilaf to spoon over. We could have drank this sauce by itself. Service was gracious, prof'l & soliticitous. We were seated in a curved, upolstered, comfortable corner banquet space. Other tables were well spaced giving diners ample elbow room. The room, itself, was good-sized & glowing w/soft gold walls, lighting and Middleastern music in the background. There was an attractive bar on one side of the room w/glowing glass liquor display shelves behind & alternating colored hues gently changing. By the time we left around 7:30, there were tables filled with families and couples. We will be back to sample more dishes we couldn't fit in this 1st time around & also have some desserts. Btw, there is an ample parking lot.

      1. trufflehound Jan 9, 2014 05:20 PM

        In my family we ate the garlicky mayo with chicken. Kibbee Naya was served with raw onion wedges, parsley, mint and a healthy drizzle of olive oil and a lemon wedge. Al Wadi's is an excellent rendition.

        1 Reply
        1. re: trufflehound
          t
          Taralli Jan 10, 2014 06:24 AM

          This kibbee was spread in a large, half inch thick rectangale on a wooden platter with whole scallions and slices of lemon and tomato - sooo good.

        2. b
          bostonfoodz Jan 9, 2014 05:32 PM

          we love al wadi. their tabouli is fantastic. so lemony and lots of parsley. it's delicious.

          1. galleygirl Jan 10, 2014 10:13 AM

            We LOVE Al Wadi; even had our wedding reception there!
            Thanks for the heads-up about the Groupon deal; somehow, I missed it!

            Next time, try the Fried Cauliflower app. with Tahini Sauce; it's like crack...

            1. L2k Jan 13, 2014 04:53 AM

              We've been there about a dozen times and it's always good.

              They've been on Groupon and the others regularly, so I think it's just part of their sales mix, no reason to worry (I hope!)

              It's certainly an upgrade from China Bell and the other restaurants that held that spot the past many years!

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