Inside Phoenician Taverna, a Mouthwatering Lebanese Eatery Hidden in a Mason Strip Mall
Phoenician Taverna serves up superb, authentic Lebanese food in a Mason strip mall. The restaurant has established a glittering reputation in its half-dozen years of operation, recently turning up on local top 10 lists with downtown and Over-the-Rhine establishments helmed by famed chefs with names like “Salazar,” “Falk” and “de Cavel.”
The restaurant sits near one end of a generic row of shops and services. Its tidy dining room consists of tables, booths, a bar and an open kitchen.
The menu lists less than a dozen main dishes, everything from fatteh bel — “a traditional yogurt dish with chicken, lamb or eggplant” served in layers with chickpeas, warm yogurt garlic sauce and sautéed pine nuts — to a simple kebab of meat chunks and vegetables over rice.
Appetizers, or “mezza” on the menu, are listed in three sections: cold mezza vegetarian, hot mezza vegetarian and not vegetarian.
The hot mezza vegetarian list offers mouth-watering items such as a cheese pie and a spinach pie (fatayer b’sbanigh in Lebanese), described as homemade dough filled with spinach, pine nuts and sumac onions in lemon and extra virgin olive oil.