Cape Cod Dining: Ardeo

May 29, 2008

Ardeo Restaurants
Cape Cod, Massachusetts (Various Locations in Yarmouth, Hyannis, Brewster)

Web Site:

In New England, one cannot live on traditional baked and fried and steamed seafood alone. But we were still in the mood for some good local fish and shellfish, prepared in a different fashion and in a healthier way. It was our good fortune that we came across Ardeo, a local chain of Mediterranean-style restaurants that specialize in Lebanese, Greek and Italian cuisine.

The Union Plaza location in Yarmouth is the original, and we happened upon it after a long day of museuming and shopping, and I am happy to note that they are able to accommodate requests to make dishes healthier when asked. A word of warning however — ordering the”Sauteed” calamari will result in them bringing you FRIED calamari sauteed in an al oglio garlic sauce over greens. Don’t get me wrong, it looked awesome — but as my grandmother Slyvia Perlow used to say, “It’s not for us, Jack”.

The original Ardeo location in Yarmouth.

Ready for some New England Seafood, Mediterranean Style? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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NJ Dining: Al-Basha

March 23, 2008

Al-Basha Restaurant
1076 Main St, Paterson, NJ 07503

Web Site:

The Main Street stretch of Clifton and South Paterson known as “Little Arabia” is an area that I always wanted to explore, but never really got to. Sure, growing up Jewish and having traveled to Israel when I was younger I know more than just a little bit about Middle Eastern cuisine, and I’ve eaten at a number of very good Lebanese (1) (2) and Turkish restaurants in Bergen and Hudson County and have prepared a number of authentic dishes at home. But South Paterson always seemed to escape me, I guess because I don’t speak Arabic and having such a huge choice of shops and restaurants to look at seemed overwhelming to me. I wouldn’t say that I am uncomfortable around Muslim and Arab people — I have a number of habibi of my own but the language barrier is definitely an obstacle for me.

Fortunately, I had my friend Ghassan Fawzi to bring me on this trip. Ghassan is a fellow Linux-head that lives in New York City and comes to Paterson during the weekends to shop for those special groceries he doesn’t easily have access to. He’s also an Israeli Palestinian (an Israeli citizen of Palestinian descent) and we are both working on a computer project to help bring Israeli and Palestinian kids together. To reward me, he wanted to bring me to eat Palestinian food at his favorite place in Paterson. So Rachel and I joined Ghassan and his wife at Al-Basha restaurant, on Main Street, for a lunch of a couple of plates of mezze.

“Al-Basha” is named for Yaser Basha, a Ramallah-born Palestinian who came to the US in 1980, and went on to become an Italian chef. He started his own restaurant in 2002, which serves traditional Palestinian and other Middle Eastern foods.

Come inside Al-Basha and try some authentic Palestinian cuisine. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

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