My husband and I met another couple at Suraya for dinner. Located in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, the Lebanese restaurant makes frequent appearances on local and national “best of” lists.
There is a dedicated parking lot next to the restaurant. We parked, met our friends and made our way to the back where outdoor dining guests enter for patio seating. We arrived in time for our reservations, but our table was not yet ready. After waiting several minutes, the hostess took our temperatures and walked us to our table.
Our waitress came over shortly after we were seated to go over the menu and ordering system. We had paper menus, but the ordering system was accessible via QR code at the table. She assured us she would be back if we had any questions. While the system was easy to use, it only allowed us to input one credit card, which made ordering and splitting the bill more complicated.
To start, we ordered a Lebanese Syrah/Cabernet to split. Our friends dined at Suraya before, but it was the first visit for my husband and I. We all knew we wanted to try the “taste of Suraya” menu. The whole party must participate if you would like to try this option. The menu offers a selection of cold mezze plates to share (hummus, baba ganoush, muhammara, labneh and taboulé with pita), plus one remaining hot or cold mezze plate per guest, an entrée per guest and a chef’s selection of desserts to share. For our extra mezze plates, we decided to split beef dumplings, crispy potatoes with long hot peppers, a raw vegetable and pita salad and a warm chickpea and eggplant dish. Of all of the various mezze plates, the muhammara and potatoes were my favorites. For my entrée, I ordered the kawarma, slow roasted lamb with dill yogurt and a cucumber and pomegranate salad. The kawarma was my favorite bite of the night, so I opted to pack some to take home so I could save room for dessert.
The chef’s selection of dessert included a milk pudding, ice cream terrine and a traditional Lebanese dessert of crispy cheese curds with rosewater syrup. The cheese dessert was surprising and the most memorable. Unfortunately, these dishes were all difficult to share, especially during COVID times. We asked our waitress for extra utensils to portion out servings without sharing used utensils.
I enjoyed my first dining experience at Suraya. I look forward to returning soon to sample the brunch menu.
1528 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
tel 215 302 1900
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