In the Iroquois Mall (1163 E. Ogden Ave., Naperville) space formerly occupied by City Grille, a new and promising restaurant has opened: Laurel Mediterranean Grill. The space has been completely re-modeled so it is not the dark atmosphere of the previous tenant. You can see the new space. menu, etc., at their website http://www.laurelgrill.com
Mediterranean in this case includes dishes from the "Levant' - Turkey, Greece, Lebanon, etc.,
Laurel just opened Monday, November 16, and we hope advertising and word of mouth will help their business to grow. Food is excellent (Liquor license was not awarded on opening night but should have been received by now).
As starters,we tried Lahmacun (Turkish flatbread spread with fine minced veal, served with tomatoes and parsley- $4) and it was both flavorful and delicious. Next we ate Mucver (patties of shreddied zucchini and kaseri cheese served with yogurt - $7). Then on to very tasty grilled baby octopus - $8 - and Imam Bayildi (baked baby eggplant with pine nuts, tomato, and caramelized onions - $6)
Every dish was delectable and some items were completely new to us. For main courses, we had a grilled sea bass (very fresh and sweet tasting - market price on Monday was $20) and a large lamb shank Hunkar Begendi served on an unusual and flavorful egplant/garlic puree.
All starters (mezze) whether hot or cold range from $4 to $8; a tasting platter of eggplant, calamari salad, hummus, artichokes, spring beans "plaki', feta cheese, pastirma and assorted olives is offered at $12. Soups and salads are offered at $4-7. Entrees run mostly $14-18, with steaks and lamb chops in the $20-24 range.
We highly recommend a visit to Laurel by anyone interested in Middle Eastern food. This place is not a fancy NafNaf (which is just down the road) but a destination place for good food prepared very well.