Lebanese. 10 Shelley St., SoHo, 2111-2284.
Black Sheep Restaurants’ 12th venture is all about good Lebanese food and wine—but what makes it different from your regular kebab store down the road? Style, perhaps. The trendy and colorful three-story restaurant—neon sign and pretty girl logo and all—pays homage to a Lebanese canteen in 60s Beirut, and boasts an impressive wine menu of over 100 wines from the region.
HIT Even with a no reservations policy, we only had to wait around 10 minutes on a busy weeknight for a seat in the upstairs dining room (Le Salon). The hummus was served slightly rustic, and with plenty of tahini flavor. The baba ganoush was nicely smoky, and both were great portions for $48 each. The pulled lamb shoulder ($198) was full of cumin, and perfect for any lover of mutton. It paired well with creamy goat’s cheese, though the small portion didn’t quite justify the price tag. The za’atar fried chicken ($108 for six pieces) let the earthy, spicy flavor of za’atar shine through in the moreish crispy batter.
MISS Whether by architectural design or just packed seating, the dining room was somehow uncomfortably noisy. Food also got cold too quickly, and a steaming bowl of pita or a soft, sweet pan-fried haloumi with honey glaze and Byzantine dressing ($108) was swiftly reduced to a rubbery mess.
BOTTOM LINE We’d love to come back for a glass of wine and more mezze, although we might head to the upstairs rooftop next time for somewhere less noisy and chilly.
Open Sun-Thu noon-11pm, Fri-Sat noon-midnight (Le Salon). $$