Mamnoon brings a hipness and class to Seattle’s sometimes tired fine Lebanese/ Syrian dining scene. They’ve got a focus on the “mezze” small plate approach and, most importantly, bread fresh-out-the-oven.
Yes, you read that correctly: Home. Made. Pita.
Bread-loving Seattleites have been waiting for this for a long time.
Okay even the warmest, most tender pita bread has its limits. But used appropriately to scoop lemon tanged tabbouleh or to sop-up some of the garlic yogurt sauce accompanying tender eggplant, it made me smile.
Mamnoon offers flavors not enjoyed in the city since Mediterranean Kitchen gave up their Queen Anne location a few years back (there’s now a lesser Mediterranean Kitchen on Boren).
The restaurant also boasts a takeout window for sweets and Manoush, a tasty baked pita fold-over often with Zatar (sesame thyme spice) or Lubne (cheese), ubiquitous in street side bakeries of Beirut, but yet unseen in Seattle in my casual pursuit.
Although it’s an eye popping $7, they’re open late and provide an alternative to burgers or pizza for those taking a break from nearby nightclubs and bars.
Mamnoon also offers some original cocktails and four types of Arak, a middle-eastern standard, served with water and ice.
Built for a sophisticated crowd, it’s a family business, the type where the couple owning it greets you before and after your meal and may even send you home with a pack of pita for the road.
For a closer look at the city that inspired this delicious food, check out Postcards from Beirut: An illustrated tour of a hip destination with a bad reputation.