Dining Out: Mediterranean flair at Dari


Exquisitely prepared, gorgeous to look out and delicious Mediterranean food is the star at Dari, a new eatery on Third Avenue in Bay Ridge whose goal is to attract local diners who crave the foods of the nations across the Mediterranean basin.

“Most of the restaurants on Third Avenue attract people from out of the area,” explained proprietor Gazwan Nomeh, a first-time restaurateur. “We wanted to have it mixed.”

For that reason, Nomeh opted to keep an extensive seafood menu (the previous restaurant had specialized in fish), as well as adding the foods of the Middle East, Italy and North Africa, with dishes added to the menu with regularity to keep it interesting.

But, Nomeh stressed, nothing will appear on Dari’s menu that hasn’t been perfected. “We want the highest standard in service and food. Not just good but perfect. That’s our standard,” he said.

The dishes we tasted certainly lived up to Nomeh’s expectations.

Among the cold appetizers, the Hummus ($8) was creamy, redolent of tahini and bright with lemon, lovingly shaped into a bowl that was artistically garnished with paprika, its central well filled with olive oil. The Grape Leaves ($7) were tightly furled  morsels, tart and succulent, amply filled with a mixture of vegetables and rice and arranged in a pinwheel on a bed of baby arugula.

The Tabouleh ($8)  — listed among the salads — was a voluptuous mound of chopped parsley and vegetables, rich with olive oil and delightfully tart thanks to generous squeezes of lemon juice.

We sampled two hot appetizers. The Fried Kibbeh ($8), a cross between a fritter and a meatball, was crispy outside, tender inside, and absolutely delicious. Also amazing were the Cheese Rolls ($6), filo-dough-wrapped packets that contain three cheeses melted together flecked with parsley and that also were arranged in a star shape for visual interest.

For our main course, one of us enjoyed the Dari Combo ($24), a mixture of three different skewered meats (in our case, chicken, beef and kefta – ground meat), with a side of rice and fresh cooked vegetables. The meats were tender and flavorful, and the portion was a generous one.

The other of us dined on the Pistachio and Kalamata Olive crusted Salmon ($19). Also paired with a side of rice and fresh cooked vegetables, the fish was melt-in-your-mouth fresh and topped with a savory-sweet sauce. With just a dash of crunch and chock-full of flavor, the salmon hit the spot.

Like everything else at Dari, it was impeccably prepared and savory – a surefire recipe to keep us coming back for more.



8518 Third Avenue

Brooklyn NY 11209


Daily, noon-11 p.m.

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