NJ Dining: Aleppo Restaurant (UPDATED)

Note: This article originally appeared as “Off the Broiler Economic Stimulus Dinner II”. With the recent review of this restaurant in the New York Times, we thought it would be appropriate to raise it to the foreground and update several photos.

Aleppo Restaurant
939 Main Street, Paterson NJ
(973) 977-2244

ESD II Collage by you.

For our second in our series of Economic Stimulus events, we enlisted former Bergen Record restaurant writer and fellow food blogger Victor Sasson to arrange a lunch for us at one of South Paterson’s best Syrian restaurants, Aleppo, after which we went shopping at some of the local bakeries and markets.

Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

A group of stalwart foodies gathered at Aleppo Restaurant on early Saturday afternoon to eat (mass quantities!) of AMAZING Middle Eastern cuisine.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

A seemingly never-ending table of Syrian delights awaited us.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

A raw-style Kibbe, made with lamb and beef. Similar to a steak tartare. We also had the torpedo-shaped fried kibbe seasoned with pomegranate syrup and pine nuts.

A very tasty and spicy lentil soup.

Stuffed Grape Leaves

Syrian-style Felafels. Some of the best I’ve ever had.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Arayes, thin pita bread wedges stuffed with meat.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

This was one of two varieties of Sambusak that we had, which were stuffed with spiced meat and cheese. The red dip that you see in these photos is Muhammara, a spicy blend of Syrian Aleppo pepper and walnuts and other spices.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Muhammara close-up (photo: Eric Eisenbud)

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Hummus (center) with Kibbe, Sambusak and Tabbouleh.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Tabbouleh close-up.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Shish Barak. These are fantastic Syrian meat-stuffed dumplings in a yogurt and meat sauce, similar to Afghan Mantou.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

These are special minced lamb kebabs (ordered off-menu in advance by Victor)  in a cherry juice sauce. Simply outstanding.

Syrian Style Chicken and Rice

Grilled Quails

Grilled Fish

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Stuffed Eggplants and Stuffed Squash, which had a spiced rice meat mixture in them.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Another view of the table of overflowing food. Suffice to say we had so much  food that a LOT of stuff was brought home. Everyone had enough for a (big) lunch for the next day.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Mixed Kebab platter of Chicken, Beef and Lamb with grilled vegetables.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

Owner Mohamed with semolina cakes.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

This is a honey semolina cake, which went great with the cardamom flavored strong Arabic coffee and tea.

Aleppo Restaurant, Paterson NJ by you.

See you next time!

9 Responses to NJ Dining: Aleppo Restaurant (UPDATED)

  1. Unbelievable meal. Aleppo Restaurant won my heart today. Thanks.

  2. D.D. says:

    Oh my, what delicious looking food. I’m just jealous I couldn’t make it to this wonderful lunch. Will have to try this place sometime.

  3. Ike says:

    Holy Toledo, that looks amazing. I wish I could’ve made it. Coincidentally, I actually took some friends to Kamil’s, just down the street on Main in Clifton, for dinner on Saturday and they liked it a lot, especially the muhammara and a special of grapes leaves with meat, and a really great flame-roasted flatbread (apparently they only serve it on weekends), but the service was a little wonky this time. But I’m very jealous of your stuffed eggplant and sambusak and shish barak and lamb kebabs in cherry juice. Aleppo might be my choice next time.

  4. Alépine says:

    Very beautiful photos !

  5. Rick Smilow says:

    Great photos, and nice technique for juxtaposing them….so that you can use more of them. I’m going to suggest that
    for our culinary institute’s blog, called DICED. (The Institute of Culinary Education)

  6. david wilson says:

    You sure are the King Kong of fressors. But damn if you know where the good places to eat are. Your comments on South Paterson are a little too winky for me, a Jewish guy who grew up in Paterson. We called pita “syrian bread” and would regularly visit the bakeries to get some. The Arab/Israeli conflict never entered into the food. I think you are a little too timid about Paterson too. There are plenty of interesting restaurants squirreled away from the old time Italian bar/pizzerias, the Jamaican jerk places, the Bangladeshi places, and the railroad market.

  7. Lydia says:

    I read the recent review from New York Times on Aleppo restaurant and so my husband and I decided to eat lunch there in celebration of his birthday. What a mistake! We ordered falafel, tahini sauce which looked like creamy water, tabouli (was not fresh and needed salt and lemon juice), hommus and baba ghanouj (okay) and the mixed grill dish (kofta, beef and chicken kabobs and rice). Kabobs were very dry and the kofta was below average. We also ordered kibbi (baked) which had no taste whatsoever. I was so disappointed and would never go there again.

  8. Davis says:

    Good Information. Thank you for sharing and I want to share information about Tandoori Chef which is An authentic North Indian, fine dining restaurant, Tandoori Chef offers Hackensack and the surrounding area a wonderful taste of Indian cuisine.

  9. david wilson says:

    I can’t let this assertion stand unchallenged. As the saying goes “milage varies.” I too scheduled my birthday celebration at the Aleppo and asked the owner a day before to prepare the lamb kebab specialty in cherry sauce. The dinner was outstanding. We ordered heavy on the small plate appetizers and everything was prepared fresh. The meat dishes were very tasty and I would say the same thing about freshness.

    It’s too bad that you had a bad experience. Sometimes these small family owned restaurants have off nights, but that is no reason to abandon them. Instead of writing them off, I’d call the owner and tell him about your disappointing meal. I bet he will do something about it in the future.

    Like I said in the beginning, mileage varies.

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