One of the perks of working in the food world is that we eat really well both at home and at work. Between growing many unusual herbs, spices and peppers at home and having access to the absolute best products on the market via Sahadi’s, our diets are varied and delicious. I have to say, the most rewarding aspect of being in this business is being able to share these dishes with our terrific customer base.
As you may have heard, we are in the process of building a new store in Industry City and for me the most exciting part has been the menu development. This new store has a slightly different focus, so I have been able to play around with the menu to reflect what I truly love to cook and eat. Recipe and menu development are done in phases. First, I spend a lot of time thinking about what I want to eat and how I want it served, then I work out the flavor profiles and finally I make sure all of the dishes complement each other and make a well-rounded menu.
I love employing traditional ingredients in innovative and fresh ways. One of the mainstays at our current store is beet salad. It is a very traditional dish and we make and sell tons of it daily. I spent a few days thinking about the components of the salad and what I could do to update the dish. At our new store, this beloved salad will be reimagined as a Chopped Beet Relish with Pomegranate molasses, walnuts and goat cheese. From the first taste, this was a winner and has been requested many times since! I can’t wait to try it out on the customers. The good thing is my family enjoys eating well, so taste testers are never hard to find. Charcuterie and cheese platters are definitely making the menu and they are a lot of fun to play around with == as gorgeous to look at as they are amazing to eat.
Homous will also be given a fresh flavor profile with homemade preserved lemons and house blended Moroccan spices. Complemented by our new pita bread (baked on site daily!), I think this dish will become a must-order. The pita is close to perfection, thanks to one of our store manager’s diligence and practice. Hats off to Mike Orlando!
For the first time ever, we’ll be able to pair our food with cocktails we’ve created! The possibilities are endless, and we’re looking forward to sharing Lebanese wines and arak with our customers. Unsurprisingly, the bar menu has been fun to develop. I have been testing components for a cocktail I’m calling the Mediterranean Rose. This lovely drink is built with infused hibiscus vodka, rose syrup and a hibiscus sugar rim. Let’s see if the cocktail makes the cut. It has an absolutely gorgeous color. Cheers!