Best Of 2020

Best Mediterranean in Mason: Phoenician Taverna

Best Mediterranean in Mason

Phoenician Taverna has established a glittering reputation in its half-dozen years of operation, turning up on local top 10 lists with downtown and Over-the-Rhine establishments by famed chefs with names like “Salazar,” “Falk” and “de Cavel.” Helmed by owner Wassim Matar, the strip-mall gem serves up superb, authentic Lebanese food in enviable proximity for Mason residents and a worth-the-drive spot for those living on the other side of I-275. The menu lists less than a dozen main dishes, everything from fatteh bel — “a traditional yogurt dish with chicken, lamb or eggplant” served in layers with chickpeas, warm yogurt garlic sauce and sautéed pine nuts — to a simple kebab of meat chunks and vegetables over rice. Appetizers, or “mezza” on the menu, are listed in three sections: cold mezza vegetarian, hot mezza vegetarian and not vegetarian. The hot mezza vegetarian list offers mouth-watering items such as a cheese pie and a spinach pie (fatayer b’sbanigh in Lebanese), described as homemade dough filled with spinach, pine nuts and sumac onions in lemon and extra virgin olive oil. Mr. Matar, would you consider opening a second location in the city? Phoenician Taverna, 7944 Mason Montgomery Road, Mason,