We can’t believe we haven’t written about Lebanese Taverna yet given the number of times we frequent this Middle Eastern mini-chain. This past weekend my parents were in town, so we decided to treat them to dinner for Father’s Day at the Lebanese Taverna in Bethesda.
We have dined at the Woodley Park location several times in recent months, and when we arrived for our reservation last weekend, we almost forgot how beautiful the space is inside the newest addition to the LT family. The glass bubble chandeliers alone are stunning. Although it might be hard to tell that this location is related to the others, the expansive menu was the same and that’s mainly what we were there for.
We sat down and were greeted with their signature pillow-type bread and olive oil dipping sauce. We decided to split a half pitcher of white sangria, and right away we wish we went with the larger pitcher. Even my mom loved it, and she rarely drinks alcohol!
I knew we had to order one of the mezze platters to start out with, so we went with the vegetarian option. I have ordered this before as an entree, and for four people it is a great way to try lots of different mezze on the menu. I won’t name everything it came with, but trust me, if you haven’t ordered one of these yet, you definitely should.
Brett and I decided to split the mixed Mashawi dish, since I wasn’t too hungry and it was a nice way to try the chicken, lamb, and kafta kabobs. We also split the Araydis Arak (sautéed shrimp, garlic, onion, and arak) and the M’saka (oven roasted eggplant with chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, and garlic).
The only complaint we had was that the entrees immediately came out as soon as we finished our appetizers. In fact, we still had some food left on the table as there really was no lapse between courses, so I was already full while Brett (unsurprisingly) had the lion’s share of our entree. But what I did have was excellent as all of the flavors found on the varieties of meat blended well together.
My Mom had one of the specials, the crispy fried whole trout. She said it was good but didn’t care for the cabbage that it came with. My dad, however, was in love with his lamb loin (Sharhat Ghanam) and couldn’t get enough of it.
Lebanese Taverna is one of those places that is so reliable that we almost forget about it at times. It’s a great place to bring a group to because there really is something for everyone.