September 13, 2019

Inside Phoenician Taverna, a Mouthwatering Lebanese Eatery Hidden in a Mason Strip Mall

Phoenician Taverna serves up superb, authentic Lebanese food in a Mason strip mall. The restaurant has established a glittering reputation in its half-dozen years of operation, recently turning up on local top 10 lists with downtown and Over-the-Rhine establishments helmed by famed chefs with names like “Salazar,” “Falk” and “de Cavel.” The restaurant sits near one end of a generic row of shops and services. Its tidy dining room consists of tables, booths, a bar and an open kitchen. 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. Read the full review from our dining critic Pama Mitchell here.
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Phoenician Taverna sits near one end of a generic row of shops and services in a Mason strip mall.
Phoenician Taverna sits near one end of a generic row of shops and services in a Mason strip mall.
Appetizers, or “mezza” on the menu, are listed in three sections: cold mezza vegetarian, hot mezza vegetarian and not vegetarian. This is the falafel.
Appetizers, or “mezza” on the menu, are listed in three sections: cold mezza vegetarian, hot mezza vegetarian and not vegetarian. This is the falafel.
The dining space
The dining space
A nice selection of wine
A nice selection of wine
Kibbeh laketeen — vegetarian stuffed meatballs made with pumpkin instead of lamb and beef
Kibbeh laketeen — vegetarian stuffed meatballs made with pumpkin instead of lamb and beef
Bar and open kitchen
Bar and open kitchen
Baklava
Baklava
Kibbeh laketeen, m’hammara (walnut) dip and falafel
Kibbeh laketeen, m’hammara (walnut) dip and falafel
Bar
Bar
The m’hammara (walnut) dip contains ground walnuts, roasted red pepper, onions, spices, pomegranate reduction and plenty of olive oil. Lathered on a hand-sized hot pita straight from the oven, it is heavenly.
The m’hammara (walnut) dip contains ground walnuts, roasted red pepper, onions, spices, pomegranate reduction and plenty of olive oil. Lathered on a hand-sized hot pita straight from the oven, it is heavenly.