Last weekend my husband and I joined another couple for dinner at Suraya. Located in Philadelphia’s Fishtown neighborhood, the Lebanese restaurant makes frequent appearances on local and national best-of lists. Our friends had dined at Suraya before, but it was a first for my husband and me.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, guests must enter the restaurant via the back patio. The weather was unseasonably warm, so it was perfect to enjoy dinner outside. After giving her our name, the hostess scanned our temperatures and then took us to our table. They had paper menus, though all ordering took place on our phones, using a QR code. Unfortunately, the system only accepts one credit card, which made splitting the bill slightly less convenient.
We decided to split a bottle of a Lebanese Syrah/Cabernet blend. We all wanted to take advantage of the “taste of Suraya” option, with a selection of dishes for a set price. To start, we split cold mezze plates including hummus, labneh and taboulé. We also enjoyed a few hot mezze plates of crispy potatoes with long, hot peppers and a warm chickpea dish with crispy pita. Already getting full from the appetizers, we each enjoyed our own entrées. I chose the kawarma, a slow-roasted lamb dish with yogurt and a cucumber and pomegranate salad. We all took food home so we could save a little room for dessert.
The chef selection of desserts included milk pudding, ice cream terrine and a traditional Lebanese dessert of crispy cheese curd with rose blossom syrup. While all delicious, these admittedly were not the easiest dishes to share, particularly during COVID. We asked for extra silverware to safely portion servings for our individual plates.
Overall, it was an incredible meal, and I look forward to dining at Suraya again soon.
— Katie Skrzek, vice president/digital director
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