So, last night my gf suggested we go to a place she had seen frequently while walking to her dentist, her treat to thank me for meeting movers delivering some furniture earlier in the day.
Without much foreknowledge, I joined her at Maza (2748 N. Lincoln Ave).
Quick summary - excellent restaurant with great service, really tasty dishes, and all the small touches that make for a great night out - highly recommended.
One option she had read about is to order the "Maza Feast" which is approx. 20+ small dishes (all of their appetizers plus taboli and shwarma). However, the specials of the night tempted us, and I am glad we were tempted.
We started the meal with two glasses of Lebanese Wine (red) and an order of Humus. The humus was quite good, served with warm pita and a selection of radishes, olives, and mild peppers. Very well made, clearly made on the premises and nicely garnished with peppers, oil, chickpeas, etc.
Our meals came with soup and salad. For soup we couldn't decide between the carror or the lentil, so we had one of each and shared. The carrot soup was creamy with hints of many flavors. The lentil was extremely good and garnished with a slice of lemon, with the lemon it was very refreshing (and quite a contrast to the carrot).
Next were salads, pretty basic with lettuce, herbs, and a small slice of Tomatoe, but again, very nicely flavored, refreshing and tasty.
Then out came our specials. My gf ordered the Lamb chops with stuffed artichoke hearts. I ordered the shrimp with couscous. Both dishes more than lived up to their billing.
The lamb chops were perfectly grilled, the stuffed artichokes (stuffed with pine nuts and ground meat) steamed to perfection, and her dish was accompanied by spinch and onions and some couscous.
My dish was six large shrimps cooked in a very tasty curry flavored sauce, with two poached mangos, spinich, and couscous with raisins and other dried fruits. Very light, very flavorful with tastes that contrasted nicely with each other.
After the mean we ordered Lebanese coffees and were given two small baklava's served with apricot and rasberry sauces - again great tastes and very light (especially for baklava). (and the coffees were a perfect way to end the evening).
The space Maza is in is quite pleasant, the service was impeccable (plates cleared, water filled, check only delivered when you asked for it, pita replaced without asking, utensils replaced for each dish, etc). Each dish was served on very nice and quite unique dishes and all in all it was one of the most pleasant meals I have had in a long while.
And for all that, our tab was less about $70 with tip. (the Maza feast is quite a deal, $30 for two, but the specials at $17/each were very reasonable as well).
I highly recommend Maza for anyone seeking great Middle Eastern food served with great care and attention.
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