restaurants
Au Za'atar
188 Avenue A
212 254 5660

For those who miss Lebanon, this spot with its French inspired Middle Eastern menu will resonate. Named for the spice blend that is similar to oregano, the menu has the usual mezze such as falafel, baba ghanoush and hummus all made fresh in-house, but hands down the best starter is the arnabeet mekle (cauliflower marinated in Lebanese herbs and spices then fried). While there are large platter formats of merguez and kebabs to share (our friend couldn't get enough of the makanek (flambéed Lebanese spiced sausages)), we think the best thing on the menu is the Tunisian cous cous served vegetarian or with lamb, merguez or chicken. The wine program is nothing to sniff at - or rather, everything to sniff at - as they have a fun selection of unusual and more traditional French, Lebanese, Spanish and Italian bottles. There are also craft beers for those who just think sausage should always go with beer.

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