mamnoon

modern union of middle eastern cuisines

J. Hofstatter Wine Dinner

Join us as we welcome Martin Foradori of J. Hofstatter Estates for a beautifully paired six-course wine dinner on Monday, July 20th. Further details to follow! Contact us today to save your spot... They'll go fast!

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mamnoonee of the minute: Elad

Community is everything at mamnoon. And it all starts with our staff.


Setting the precedent for hard work and flexibility at mamnoon, Elad wears the many hats of a bartender, server and mamnoon Street "Window Dude." Out of breath? Me too. Elad is there to help with whatever, whenever and wherever. His unparalleled sense of work ethic and unbreakable "can-do" attitude help keep mamnoon ticking.

Outside of mamnoon, you can find Elad engrossed in his art. Specializing in typography and street art, Elad's pieces capture life in brilliant color.

Whatever palette he's perfecting, be that color tones or quinoa tabbouleh, Elad can always be counted on to give us his best, smiling all the way.

mamnoon to you, Elad!

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Art at mamnoon

Art at mamnoon

Our collection has grown! We are excited to feature two pieces from Los Angeles artists Davis and Davis from their "Little Talents" collection. "Tattoo Baby" and "Whirly Girl" are photographs that employ a rich color palette while using found materials to create images that are both aesthetically pleasing and mentally perplexing. In "Whirly Girl," the doll is depicted as literally having the world on a string, while "Tattoo Baby" shows a swaddled figurine covered in henna designs. Needless to say, these pieces leave much up to the imagination.

For me, "Whirly Girl" is particularly striking, because of its highly-charged duality. As part of a generation who feels like they are entitled to the world, my first read was that the artists' intentions were to convey that this notion of global possessiveness is a truly epic farce, begging to be mocked. However, in light of the mission of mamnoon, an entirely different message can be begged. By placing the entire world within the grasp of this tiny girl, every corner of the globe is accessible for us to explore, embrace and taste. Ultimately, interpretation is a choice, and I am going to choose the positive.

As far as "Tattoo Baby" goes, I would love to think that the artists were depicting the next generation of Capitol Hill hipsters, but something tells me I am a little off in that. The image of a blonde-haired baby covered in tattoos is highly imaginative, unique and totally unheard of. Seeing it for the first time brought back memories of my first dining experience at mamnoon, that "Holy H*&!" moment of culinary bliss that comes with trying a dish that blends two things together to create a union that you never would have even considered before. Mamnoon is filled with all of these juicy combinations, from the food on the plates to the art on the walls, and I can't wait to see what happens next.

Come check them out, they can be found deep in the main dining hall, right next the glass kitchen wall. We'd love to hear your interpretation.


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Art at mamnoon

Art manifests itself in many ways at mamnoon, in the food, in the music and in the art. Our most prominent piece, an installation of thirty fiberglass chickens, hangs over the dining room. "Simorgh" is the work of Persian sculptor Nastaran Safaei. Maintaining an air of playfulness and levity, the artist has instilled a double meaning in "Simorgh." It derives its influence primarily from the character of the same name in Farid al-Din Attar's twelfth-century poem "The Conference of the Birds," which follows a flock as they travel through the many valleys of life as they search for illustrious King of the Birds. Safaei plays on the name further: Separately, the syllables of "Simorgh" translate to thirty ('si') birds ('morgh').

Safaei's "Simorgh" adds an air of mysticism and tradition to the atmosphere at mamnoon, acting simultaneously as compliment and juxtaposition to mamnoon's collection, which includes Hassan Hajjaj'sYa Amina, a colorful portrait of a strong and brightly-dressed young woman. Unafraid of breaking boundaries, Hajjaj employs a boundless color palette and wide-reaching use of mediums to create portraits that both embody and empower the people of his native Morocco.

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mamnoon junoon feb 2nd

After a few month's hiatus for the holidays, mamnoon junoon is back for monday feb 2nd dinner!

While the holidays were a great busy period for us here, it was also an unbelievably terrible period for Syrian refugees. The numbers are increasing, the living conditions are getting harder and most of the levant/turkey was hit with one of the worst winters on record. 

One of mamnoon's goals is to connect you with the people and cultures of the Levant in positive, compassionate and delicious ways. we have always had an active charity component via our giving to UNHCR (over $25K to date).  In addition many of you have asked throughout our existence how to help in direct ways, beyond donating through our Khobz for Syria, Mukassarat, or "mamnoon special" GlassyBaby.  We did some research and  decided to focus this junoon and the charity effort where we can all make the most impact. 

We will be offering the net proceeds from the night to the Malki-SCM Children Center. This great effort is made possible by the local Salaam Cultural Museum organization.  They have created a few "normal" safe zones with basic schooling, play and art therapy for refugee Syrian children in Jordan. The need is immense and every cent raised here goes directly to the centers.  We could not think of a better, more effective way to help those in most need, with the the most future.

We need you to make it a huge night.

Our famous Chelow Kebab will make a comeback as well as a special off-menu dessert. in addition we’ll have live classical Arabic Oud music courtesy of Stephen Elaimy, House of Tarab.

Please reserve and share, this will be a great way to enjoy a mamnoon feast while doing good. hope to see you here

mamnoon team

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mamnoon superbowl meal @ home


Go Hawks!
The hawks making the superbowl, again, is one of the good reasons for us to close our dinner service. We are so proud of the team and want to root for them all the way. As a result we will be closing at 2:30 pm on Sunday Feb 1st and then.

If you are not lucky to be there in person, we can help you have the very best seahawks party at home. check out this incredible take home or delivery menu and put your orders in soon - we don't want you to miss out on shish taouk "hawk" wings. These are chicken wings marinated in our famous shish taouk marinade served in a bucket with a selection of our best dips.

This meal will set a new high bar for superbowl party food and make you the most seahawk of hosts.

Please put your orders in early by calling in at 206 906 9606 and ask for the superbowl special and what time you will be picking up. Delivery is also available via mamnoon delivery

Wassef

ps. we will be ordering a couple for a party we're crashing :)

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Café Blanc

At the end of every meal at mamnoon, we serve all our guests a small carafe of Café Blanc or “white coffee” to cap off their meal and facilitate digestion. Known was “Ahweh Bayda” in Arabic, Café Blanc is made with orange blossom extract and hot water and is sometimes sweetened with sugar or honey. Café Blanc is thought to have originated in Lebanon and is traditionally served after meals as a digestif and offered as a sign of hospitality at special occasions and gatherings all over the Arab world. Naturally caffeine and alcohol free, Café Blanc is also said to soothe the nerves and aid with stomach aches. Many Middle Eastern mothers will also give their colicky babies a small amount of orange blossom extract with water.

When making Café Blanc at home, remember that a little bit goes a long way. We like ours alongside a sweet little treat like nokhochi or baklawa.

Café Blanc

  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 t. orange blossom extract
  • sugar or honey to taste (optional)

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The power of giving

We are dedicated to giving back to the people and cultures that inspire all that we do at mamnoon. Through various fundraising efforts, we have donated nearly $25,000 to the UNHCR Syrian Refugee Relief Fund to aid those displaced by the crisis in Syria and the Middle East.

We are dedicated to giving back to the people and cultures that inspire all that we do at mamnoon. Through various fundraising efforts, we have donated nearly $25,000 to the UNHCR Syrian Refugee Relief Fund to aid those displaced by the crisis in Syria and the Middle East.

Our ‘Khobz for Syria’ campaign donates 100% of the proceeds from a $5 basket of house-made specialty breads to the UNHCR. From the start of this project, these baskets have been one of our most popular menu items and a wonderful way for the mamnoon community to get involved with the giving effort.

We are also part of a larger fundraising effort in partnership with glassybaby, a Seattle-based glass blowing studio. Our restaurant features a “mamnoon special” glassybaby candle holder in an exclusive dark slate color. $20 from the sale of every mamnoon glassybaby is donated to Syrian relief.

The mamnoon special glassbaby is part of the larger glassybaby giving effort, a campaign that supports various charities and has donated over $2,000,000 through the sales of these beautifully simple glass candle holders. Thedouble-glazed slate glassybaby votives, on display throughout the restaurant, are only available at mamnoon.

We have also had an incredible community support through private events and individual donations.

For more information on mamnoon giving, or to make a donation, call 206.906.9606 or visit http://www.unhcr.org/emergency/5051e8cd6-52b1c61ec.html.

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Art at mamnoon

Mamnoon has recently added art to our dining room to showcase artists of the Middle East and Africa. Our walls speak to the power of women, love, and seduction.


This image by Mouneer al Sharaani can be translated to "Enchantment is in the the colors, the melodies, the dew drops, the fragrances, and the flowers”. The artist is a Syrian calligrapher, designer, and print maker living and working in Cairo. Al Sharaani gave birth to a new era of contemporary Arab calligraphy through the synthesis of traditional techniques and modern styles and has received international recognition for his revitalization of the medium.


Model-turned-photographer Fabrice Monteiro is an emerging artist working in the fields of photojournalism, fashion photography, and portraiture.

Born to a Beninese father and Belgian mother, his childhood straddled the diverse cultural lines often represented in his work. Monteiro’s images carry the weight of modernity and tradition and force the viewer to confront the complex and often uncomfortable aesthetics of race, culture, and imperialism. 

This image from his ‘Signares’ series explores the role of cloth and clothing during African colonization and their subsequent meaning in an era of Westernization. Powerful Signarese women were often the ‘official wives’ of European colonizers for the duration of their stay. Often celebrated for their beauty and business mind, these women played an important role in the socio-economic development of Senegal.


These photographs by Iranian photographer Babak Kazemi are a contemporary interpretation of the legend of Shirin and Farhad.

As the story goes, Farhad was a stonemason who was in love with the beautiful Shirin, who was also desired by the powerful King Khosrow. Shirin knew of Farhad’s love and used it to make the King jealous. King Khosrow attempted to get rid of Farhad by ordering him to complete an impossible task: to win Shirin’s hand, he must move a mountain. Farhad’s love proves to be stronger than either the King or Shirin had

imagined, and he takes on the task with zeal. Amazed at the reports of Farhad’s progress, Shirin travel to the mountain to see for herself. After the long journey, though, she faints with fatigue and Farhad places both Shirin and her horse on his shoulders and carries them back to the palace.

Kazemi revisits this 16th- century tragedy to comment on the contemporary struggle of lovers who must leave their homeland to find the freedom to love as they choose. For the artist, the story reveals the message that love can overcome even the most difficult situations. 


Hassan Hajjaj, who was born in Morocco and raised in London, is a master of multiple mediums, including furniture, fashion, interior, and record album covers. Hajjaj synthesized these all into a series of sensational photo-portraits in ‘Kesh Angels’. These transcultural and trans-medium images depict a distinct subculture of young Moroccan women who work as henna tattoo artists and travel Marrakesh on motorbike.

With pride and ease, the women pose with their bikes, wearing veils and abayas, against vivid backdrops. These photos are a jarring mix of old and new, East and West, global and local. Hajjaj plays with and upends stereotypes, presenting his subjects as both traditional and defiantly modern, which infuses his photos with electrifying tension.

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Profile of mamnoon co-owner Wassef Haroun

I was born into a family from Lattakia, a Syrian coastal city. My childhood was blessed with amazing food, inquisitive intellects, music, curiosity and a big dose of social, cultural and religious open-mindedness. The Levant was in rapid development from the mid ‘60’s to the early 70’s fueled by optimism, trade and development funds from the massive oil resources of the Arabian Gulf countries. The new breed of educated Lebanese and Syrian engineers, businessmen and traders created a unique cultural blend of western advances influenced by centuries old traditions and talents.

Sadly this period was stunted by escalating conflicts and tensions with Israel and a civil war in Lebanon that started in ’75 that lasted well into the 80’s. Meanwhile, the newly developed Arabian Gulf countries continued to move at warp speed to construct whole nations from scratch – much of it fueled by Levantine talent, blood, sweat and tears.

We moved to Dubai in ’77 after it was no longer possible to stay in Beirut. The go-getting and welcoming atmosphere in Dubai was contagious and it became a true home. Dubai was a truly diverse environment – all nationalities imaginable working in all fields. The diversity was reflected everywhere and with it came the appreciation of other cultures, as well as getting a keen understanding of the enormous richness and value of the Levantine cultures and way of life. Essentially Dubai provided proof that the culture is exportable, welcome and adaptable to many environments.

I went on to study computer science as an undergrad in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and as a grad in Houston, Texas. I was fortunate to be studying CS at a time of great advances in the field and at the birth of the PC revolution. I went back to the middle east after my university studies.

At the time, there was no real work for my skill set – few companies needed serious programming – so I did some sales and sales support, while I wrote programs on the side for private clients. It was an interesting mix – on the one hand I had huge exposure to all types of people and personalities, and a work schedule that matched theirs (siesta or beach in the afternoon!), on the other I was trying to stay current with technology and make a career out of programming. A client approached me with a task: convert a program for the Mac operating system to support Arabic usage. While I was working on that I was approached by a Microsoft regional exec and eventually hired to do similar work at Microsoft – in Seattle!

Microsoft wanted to make their products work with languages that are written and read from right to left: Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, Urdu… While potentially large markets, Microsoft wanted to spend a minimum on R&D until the revenue came in. They looked for an engineer that could do the Arabic adaptation, and then have the other languages be an easy translation.

In 3 years I shipped Arabic/Hebrew DOS, Windows, Word for Windows before going on to work on very different projects at Microsoft.

In summer of ’00, after a fun career at Microsoft, we moved to France to try something family oriented and different. We settled in Paris and had a full dose of joie de vie – it was a fantastic experience, four years of discovery, fun, travel, learning and interesting work.

A prominent feature in most Parisian neighborhoods is a weekly marche – a farmers market that takes place in a designated open area. You can find amazing meat cuts, fish, fruits, veggies, cheeses, wines, baked goods and… mana’eesh. Any marche you go to will have a stall that makes saj (domed grill) mana’eesh and a variety of mezze. Cross the channel to London and Levantine food is virtually a staple – entire high streets lined with mana’eesh, shawarama and varieties of Lebanese and Syrian restaurants. These thrive due to wide appeal to customers in their locales.

My work with a startup took me back to the US in ’06. We had many choices of where to go, but Racha and we wanted to be back in Seattle. It just felt right. It felt like going home. We didn’t think of it as a permanent move back, rather talking about it as an “indefinite” move. The return was a great relief.

Paris society has its cultural constraints – because of the closeness and the density, the Lebanese groups acted Lebanese, Syrians acted Syrian, and the French acted French. There was a lot of mixing of course, but we didn’t feel there were truly hybridized communities. Seattle, like many US cities, offers a fairly big hybrid community, albeit one that doesn’t have too many Levantine cultural elements. We felt a genuine open-mindedness and ability to absorb other culture’s elements proven by how well Seattleites adopted Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and other Asian cultures and made them part of the daily lives.

Over the years we’ve expressed our cultures through a variety of ways, but the highest impact by far was when Racha prepared Lebanese, Syrian or Persian food and served at our dinners and parties. Of course the foods are delicious and accessible and she’s an amazing cook, but the main reason has to do with the reception and the way guests are treated the accueil.

The feedback from our friends is that our cultures are welcoming, accommodating, adaptable, progressive and contemporary but more importantly they remember the visceral delicious sensations generated by eating the foods, taking in the smells and sights. There is a direct correlation between a positive visceral stimulus with an unfamiliar context, resulting in this context being familiarized in a very positive way.

This was the “aha” moment for us and the start of the mission – we got excited about the prospect of building a business around these principles and to create the postive visceral stimuli and experiences accessible in the broadest way possible. It was also clear that we hoped to for the mission to be a progressive beacon that the local culture can be proud of.

This was the genus of mamnoon – and a fantastic problem for a geek like me to go work on. I don’t have a culinary background; I am not a foodie or wine connoisseur. I am not a typical sample of the Lebanese or Syrian cultures either, but I am very curious, I am a tinkerer and have a lot of humility to try new things and fail at them and I have no issues calling for help if I need it.

The mamnoon project was a complete collaboration between Racha and me entering into many areas that we have never been before, and like every other project I have been in, mamnoon is a headlong full contact affair – made more intense by the fact that Racha is fully in it as well. This is a new and intense family dynamic. We both bring it home and live it day and night. It has helped us do better for mamnoon in a very natural way, and has added a dimension of authenticity that is unparalleled.

I am talking about mamnoon in very personal way, but what really makes it relevant and vibrant to all of us today is the team that has gelled behind the mission. We are simply blessed to have some of the most talented individuals in the industry believe in what we are trying to do and to have taken on the mission as their own. This is a testament that what we have lived and believe in is universal. The excitement, passion and drive we see in the staff translates to amazing guest experiences and a net cultural transfer – all of it for the better.

As the main geek at mamnoon my work is endless, there is a lot I need to do tinkering here and there – helping on the technology, working on processes and learning what it is that we can do to make the mamnoon experience universally compelling. If you come by one day and see me around with a laptop, measuring tape, on top of a ladder, under a piece of equipment, or talking to a guest- don’t be surprised, I’m just geeking out.

Wassef

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if your party is larger than six people, please call to inquire about availability and private dining options. if you are reserving for dinner, please note that the traditional lebanese street food from our window menu is only available at the community table and outdoor tables