Last night, as part of my Christmas present, my partner treated me to Tanoreen, supposedly the best Middle Eastern restaurant in New York City...And I must say that Tanoreen certainly lives up to its reputation! It was well worth the LONG R train ride from Astoria to Bayridge! The atmosphere is relaxed and the service professional and hospitable. The chef-owner, Rawia Bishara, took the time to visit each table and greet each patron.
For starters, I ordered the delicious, creamy and smooth hummus, which was accompanied by a basket of pita and amazing pieces of zatar. My partner ordered the chicken soup, which was prepared with lots of fresh parsley. Both were excellent. For my main course, I ordered the perfectly prepared lamb kabobs, which came with pasta-like rice, and cucumber and tomato salad. My partner ordered kibbe, the sautéed spinach, and homemade lemonade. The kibbe was served in a square and scored into little boxes making it resemble a piece of just baked brownie. We are used to kibbe served in an oval. I must say that although it looked a bit different it was the best tasting kibbe I have ever eaten and the star food of the evening! According to our waiter, all food is infused with Tanoreen's mix of secret spices, including the ancient spice sumac. How cool!
For dessert, we ordered the mint tea and the house special melt in your mouth fig-filled cookies.
I am a lover of Middle Eastern cooking and I must say that Tanoreen WOWED me. It was certainly worth the ride out to Bayridge