June 18, 2015 New York USA Americas

Naya Mezze and Grill: The Lebanese Restaurant of 2nd Avenue New York
Non-smokers friendly
Casual Dining Authentic & Traditional

4.3 out of 5 based on 1 professional review.

RATING:86/100

Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 8.5/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 26/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: 9/10

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On 2nd avenue is a Lebanese restaurant decorated with a unique touch. A long corridor with tables on the sides, two seats on the left side and four on the right each separated from the other by a glass. Wooden tables, grey leather chairs and an olive oil bottle with a mill duo to decorate the tables.

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Arabic music plays in the background while a happy Lebanese waiter full of energy welcomes you in. Shouting, smiling, kind-of acting like a clown approaches for the order. He helped me choose while proposing a shawarma sandwich without the sides for a better price.

The menu:

  • Salads and soups
  • Dips
  • Cheese
  • Mezze vegetarian
  • Mezze meat and shrimps
  • Entrees
  • Sides

Ordered hummus, tabbouleh and shawarma with fried kebbeh to have a general idea. 

While having lunch, cold water keeps on flowing.

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Enjoyed my lunch:

  • The kibbeh is terrific indeed. Ballad of fried kebbeh generously stuffed with minced meat, onions and pine nuts. A crunchy envelop tasting meat not borghol with juicy meat inside that doesn't stick to your teeth. With that is a yogurt (Laban) dip which I loved.
  • Humus is good. I've had better, but this one is good for a restaurant in New York. The tahini is a bit prominent and the lemon a bit strong, but this is a hummus I'll consider.
  • The tabbouleh is tasty. With some American parsley usually too thick and too grey, Naya managed to create a flavorful tabbouleh. A bit of borghol, diced tomatoes and shredded parsley mixed with lemon and olive oil. Loved the sauce which makes Al the difference.
  • With that, you receive a basket of bread. Lebanese bread, the thin Lebanese read that's very close to the one we had in Lebanon. Another brioche bun is too sweet to be eaten with Lebanese food. I'd remove that completely.
  • Shawarma: one slice of bread stuffed with meat, tomatoes, parsley, and tarator. Lovely bread, good vegetables creating a good meat sandwich but let's not call it shawarma. The meat lacks the shawarma spices while being too sticky and too chewy spoiling the experience for a person used to shawarma. As a normal meat sandwich, it is recommended, nicely presented, generous and full of taste.

Music continued on playing, enjoying my sparkling water, time passed calmly. A Lebanese experience close to the ones we have in Beirut. Meet Henry, the waiter; you'll have fun with.




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