Once the warm weather hits, a dinner here can be a truly transporting experience. Though the food is unremarkable, the garden--covered with a canopy of red, green and gold fabric that opens up in the summer--is worth a visit for a leisurely post-meal puff. You can order a hookah pipe for your table for $10, with a choice of 22 tobacco flavors, including apple, watermelon, vanilla and jasmine.
Among the traditional Middle Eastern appetizers, the smoky baba ghanoush and eggplant moussaka taste freshest. The mini-donut-shaped falafel is just right, though the smooth hummus lacks a garlic and lemon kick, and tabouleh loses texture without enough bulgur wheat. The lamb, also, is too tough and dry to please. Baklava, unforunately, fails to redeem the meal, with a heavy, rather than flaky, phyllo shell.
|Hookah Lounge Information|
Between 11th Street and 12th Street
L at 1st Ave; N, R; 4, 5, 6 at 14th St-Union Square
$$$$ ($40 and up)
$$$ ($31 to $40)
$$ ($21 to $30)
$ ($20 and under)
* Restaurant prices are based on the average cost of a three-course dinner, excluding wine, tax and tips.