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October 17th, 2007 Ethan Smith | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Restaurant Guide 2007

     
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Ever tried goat? You should. Many who have no problem eating sweet little lambs still shy away from their barnyard cousin. But Karam’s goat bil riz can put an end to that. Tender hunks of the beeflike meat are stewed with garlic, tomatoes, cilantro and potatoes. Spooned over basmati rice, it’s rich, savory comfort food. The kibbe saneeyeh , with layers of bulgur, onions, pine nuts and ground beef, is like Lebanese meatloaf but with a subtle complexity of flavor that pairs well with Karam’s tangy housemade yogurt. Start with a mezza platter. Strong takes on Middle Eastern standards like hummus and baba ghanoush are the perfect excuse to wolf down Karam’s steaming khoubiz —Lebanese flatbread—which is constantly replenished fresh from the oven. The grape leaves, filled with a mixture of rice tomatoes and ground lamb and beef, are addictive. And Karam’s tabbouleh, sharp with parsley and lemon, is the perfect garnish. Syrupy Turkish coffee caps the meal off perfectly. (ES)

Signature dish: Kibbe , the national dish of Lebanon.

Standouts: Anything with a “g” at the beginning of its name: goat bil riz , grape leaves.

Regrets: Eran . If you’re adventurous, try this sour yogurt-and-cucumber drink—but don’t expect Yoplait.

 
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