Lebanese food: Seasoning the Summer Just Right
When cooking authentic Lebanese food, freshness, seasoning and preparation are key.
When cooking authentic Lebanese food, freshness, seasoning and preparation are key. Maya Nahouli, owner and head chef of Mezza, knows the importance of flavor by heart. She was born and raised in Lebanon and learned to love the act of cooking and sharing her native cuisine at an early age. Today, Nahouli shares the flavors and memories of Lebanon with the Metro Area from her Madison restaurant, Mezza. And, it looks like this summer will be fragrant with the aromas of Lebanon, calling diners for miles around.
Lighter, Fresher Fair
As Nahouli continues to serve delicious authentic lebanese food from Lebanon and the Mediterranean, she also works to bring variety to the menu. For the warmer weather, Mezza is offering some lighter, fresher dishes. One she is particularly proud of is the grilled red fish. A feast for two to ten people, the fish is prepared with great care. Diners should call two days ahead to order the dish, then it is marinated in a mixture of sea salt, rosemary, thyme, garlic and olive oil. This tantalizing fish is prepared with the head on and comes with a flavorful round of side dishes such as Mezza’s tabouli, hummus and moussaka.
Kids and Fire!
When you’re solving the dilemma of how to feed the family, you have to think about the kids. And while some children might be perfectly fine with the hearty spices that are mainstays of Lebanese food, and all can be encouraged to taste the mezzas on family plates, others will find refuge in the friendly Kids’ Menu, with its burger wrap and chicken strips. All will be drawn to the wood fire oven that brightens the corner of the dining room. There Chef Maya crafts her unique version of the classic Mediterranean pizza to the delight of kids and adults alike.
Unlike the traditional version of pizza, the Mezza version is made in the Lebanese tradition–no red sauce, no anchovies. Instead there is delicious cheese on a thin, crisp crust with individually choosen toppings added. All of it is warmly toasted by the fires of the wood burning oven. The bar around the oven offers a view of the pizza preparation and the fire that cooks it. Kids and grown ups alike are entertained by the demonstration of pizza crafting. It’s like a Food Network show live in front of you, with the bonus of getting to smell and eat what you’ve just watched being prepared! Kids and grown ups alike are entertained by the demonstration of pizza crafting.
Underscoring the festive atmosphere at Mezza is the arrival of a full selection of wine now available at the restaurant. Uniquely, Mezza offers a selection to pair with every menu item. Wine tastings are in the works as well. And in addition to the new offerings at Mezza, there’s the deck for outdoor dining and houka pipes for grown up nights out.
A full selection of wine now available at the restaurant. When you get ready for your next culinary outing, make it Mezza. A treat for your taste buds and kick for the kids. Mezza is ready for you!
Mezza is located at 1896 Main Street in Madison. You can call them at (601) 853-0876. They are open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Saturday and Sunday for lunch. They are ready to serve you, your family and your friends.