modern union of middle eastern cuisines

Posts from 2014

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)


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


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.


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.



Spotlight: Lounge Screens

They do more than provide some intimacy and sound-buffering in our lounge: the laser cut poplar wood screens built for us by Seattle’s immensely talented graypants studios are an integral part of the aesthetic and flow of our restaurant. Mashrabiya are latticed wood screens that are a common fixture in Middle Eastern homes and are designed for a combination of shade, privacy, and air circulation. Our screens take elements of the traditional mashrabiya and add a Northwest flair-- the varying levels of opacity created by the star cut-outs were inspired by the patterns of light and shadows in a forest of trees. The wooden screens are a beautiful embodiment of the balance between old and new world, tradition and innovation, and beauty and function found at mamnoon.

Fun fact: the leftover cut-outs from the screens are used as holders for specials and announcements on table throughout the restaurant.

Check out graypant’s website for more images of the screens and details on other awesome projects they have going on.


I Thought You Were Closed on Mondays? An update on what's been going on with mamnoon junoon.

Two junoons into our newly launched Monday night series and we are off to a rocking start! Mamnoon junoon was hatched as a way to bust outside the box and serve as a creative and fun way to explore aspects of the food and culture of the levant that we may not fit inside the repertoire of our normal dinner service.

Our kickoff junoon event was a six course Moroccan feast that highlighted many of the dishes owner Wassef Haroun and sous chef Sean Dominoski discovered on a trip to Morocco last year. As mamnoon is a Syrian, Lebanese, and Persian restaurant, this junoon was a great chance to experiment with the food of a country that, while geographically close, is really pretty different than the flavors our kitchen usually employs. Some of the highlights from the menu were the merguez (harissa and lamb sausage), seven vegetable tajine with hand-rolled couscous, and a savory goat cheese and herb pastry.

Mehdi Boujrada, Azmi Haroun, and Sean Dominoski getting down on some lunch in Morocco.

We went in a totally different direction for the next month’s junoon, this time choosing to focus on engaging more than just your taste buds. MamnoonTV explored the videos and images of the levant in a rethinking of a night at the theater. We had projection screens set up throughout the restaurant playing clips from various Arabic TV show and music videos, and the entertainment was paired with theater-style snacks: jibneh nachos, za’atar popcorn, kefta sliders, and sujuk hot dogs.

Sujuk hotdog with torschi relish.

If you have suggestions for creative, entertaining, or simply delicious events, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line on the blog or on our Facebook page.


mamnoonTV coming to you live march 3rd

mamnoonTV is the next addition in our monthly mamnoon junoon dinner series. Join us on monday, march 3rd for an evening that is guaranteed to turn your idea of a night at the theater on it's head.

Our talented and twisted kitchen has prepared a menu of theater-themed dishes inspired by the tastes and flavors of mamnoon. Enjoy delicacies like za'atar popcorn, jibneh nachos and kefta sliders against a backdrop of the videos and images of the levant.

This playful and casual evening is a mamnoon rethinking of a classic. Come break bread with friends and treat all your senses to the magic of the middle east.

Call 206.906.9606 or visit for reservations


What's the Deal With Drink Service?

Is it lunch? Is it happy hour? Is it okay if I want to just sit and drink alone?

These are all questions that may be swirling through your head as you see blurbs and announcements about mamnoon's new "Drink Service." But, really, the semantics don't matter that much - the takeaway is that we're expanding our services during what is typically the afternoon lull and you should get really excited about that.

We've coined it Drink Service in homage to the tea and coffee experience that is a staple of Middle Eastern hospitality. While it's not a happy hour per se, we've got banging deals on drinks (both boozy and boring), food, and plates of delicious off-menu treats that come gratis with drinks. House-roasted nuts, Iranian pickled vegetables, a confection or two... think tapas-style: order a drink and you get a little sweet or savory nibble so you don't get sloshed on our community table.

We're just trying to spread the love a little farther. Drink Service is conducted in the front of the restaurant at our community table to facilitate socialization and is a tribute of sorts to the warmth of Middle Eastern dining. We're trying to create a casual environment for friends to come in and enjoy the mamnoon energy with a tasty drink and delicious food.

So stop by between 2:30 and 5:30 Tuesday- Sunday to see what the buzz is about. And maybe get one of your own.


Mamnoon Junoon!

We are so excited to announce the start of Mamnoon Junoon, a series held on the first Monday of each month focusing on foods, arts and humanities. We are kicking off with a six course Moroccan dinner on Monday, Feb. 3. In Arabic, Junoon means a crazy party, a fete if you will.

Through this dinner, we will bring aspects of Middle Eastern hospitality to help melt the ice that builds up with the Seattle Freeze. The dinner will be served family-style and will be done with community seating to facilitate discussion, socialization and mutual appreciation of the delicious and perhaps unfamiliar food on the table. We hope this to be a bonhomie of friends and strangers sitting down to enjoy a beautiful meal together.


small bites

carotte et orange

shredded carrot, cara cara orange

concombre doux

sweet cucumber, orange blossom water


lamb sausage, harissa




shaved fennel, oil cured olive, soft herbs



fromage de chevre

fresh goat cheese, parsley, chive, tarragon

épaule d'agneau confite

lamb shoulder confit, warm spices, onion




seven vegetable tagine, saffron, ginger, hand-rolled couscous, smen, fresh buttermilk



bar rôti

roasted sea bass, chermoula, herb salad



gazelle horns

tahini cookies


Dinner is $65 per person and does not include gratuity, tax and beverage. We apologize for the inconvenience but we are unable to make substitutions as it is a set menu. Reservations are required for the event as space is limited. Please note that because of the communal nature of the meal, parties less than 8 may be grouped at a table with others. If your party prefers to be at a private table please make a note on your reservation and we will try our best to accommodate, but no promises. Reservations can be made at or at 206.906.9606.

Mamnoon to you!


Spotlight: MamnoonToo Manager Zack Chamberlain

By Zack Chamberlain
As told to Molly Sinnott

Bread is always gonna be bread. It’s so simple, but so necessary and that necessity adds complexity. Any main dish on a dinner table is going to change, but bread is always going to be there and be comprised of more or less the same ingredients. There’s beauty in that simplicity.

Garrett asked me to come on about two weeks before the restaurant opened, and at the beginning it was really just more to help out. I think in a lot of ways that helped me learn things from the ground up and get to know people involved in the restaurant in a different way. This is my fifth restaurant opening in my career and I really love the energy that comes with opening a restaurant. But I’ve never worked a streetside window before, which is really cool. I’ve found out that I am much more of a people person than I ever thought I was in terms of being up front and talking to customers. It’s incredibly dynamic and I find a lot of joy in that. We get to see smiling faces all day and we get instant feedback from customers, which I really appreciate. I also just like making people happy and watching them leave satisfied.  

Our front kitchen is specifically designed to produce this Lebanese-style street food. Being Seattle and not a city that really has a vibrant street food scene, it has kind of morphed into a to-go window and full service lunch. It also offers a great alternative to the more aggressively priced sit down formal dinner that is our back dining room. But I think our front window really balances the two types of cuisines we offer as far as fun and functional and takeaway versus fancy and formal and sit-down. We went through a lot of trial and error. Just getting people to try our food was really tough and it was hard to get people hooked. So we were out there on the street giving out samples and talking things up. We opened completely organically, though, and we haven’t really done any advertising at all. So throughout the past year there’s been a real evolution of the food we offer up front. For example, we’ve changed things from ‘kulage’ to ‘sandwich’ because really it just looks like a sandwich and we’ve adapted some of the elements from a traditional kulage to make it look more like something that Americans will eat for lunch. We’ve had to make it a bit more accessible and easy to order. I think there was a bit of resistance at first but we’ve stayed pretty close to our original path and I think we’re winning in the long run. Sometimes you have to wait for people to take, and people took. It’s exciting.

My job is basically getting everything to function and to be cohesive and I get a huge amount of satisfaction from that. The menu was completely made when I got here, but I had to pull it off logistically. I’m really more of a logistical and detail-minded person than a fancy creator of brand new foods. Which really goes back to simplicity and my initial attraction to bread. It’s the necessities, the staples. So it’s the fact that the two aspects of the restaurant kind of feed each other-- one is a little more playful and one’s more serious-- but they really balance each other out. And the cohesion of the whole place is really important to me, bridging the gap between front and back of the house and between the to-go window and the back dining room. So in a way its larger than a restaurant, it's how people come together to celebrate their passions. 


Spotlight: Executive Chef Garrett Melkonian

By Garrett Melkonian
As told to Molly Sinnott

It’s kind of amazing how so many of the things that we do here and the approach to hospitality and feeding people is pretty much a direct reflection of what I remember from my childhood. Everything always revolved around food and people and cooking was how they showed people love and respect and admiration. It was the metaphorical hug, to have people eat. It’s amazing how much this place has been able to connect me to some of those really vivid memories. It’s wasn’t until I found myself in a situation that is so closely connected to what initially inspired me to cook that I really remembered these things. It was making dolmeh with Racha’s mom and starting to have a flood of memories of watching my grandmother do it and having her teach me how to roll grape leaves. It's that kind of thing that has made everything feel very fortuitous and really come full circle for me. There is a real feeling behind the hospitality that we do here. There’s a sincerity that exists in that culture that’s expressed through food and it’s been remarkable to be able to take all that I’ve learned through food and use it to honor my heritage and who I am.

There’s a difference between feeding someone and celebrating a cuisine. The restaurants that are out there that serve large quantities of very inexpensive Middle Eastern food are not really celebrating the cuisine and they’re not really celebrating the culture. There’s beauty that exists within this food and there’s a level of preparation that must take place. We’re taking something that is inherently family style and rustic and presenting it with an aesthetic and a refinement that doesn’t move away from the fundamentals, but maybe makes it taste just a little bit better or look a little bit more beautiful. To have an outlet to really showcases that and starts to use more celebrated ingredients— local meat and beautiful organic produce— and to bring those elements together is something that hasn’t really been done before with this food. What we do here is very focused. It doesn’t mean that we can’t incorporate the same elements of ‘local, organic, sustainable’ that other Seattle restaurants are depending upon and building their name upon, we use some of that, but we’re doing it in a way that’s intensely focused. We’re working within pretty rigid parameters when you think about it and as much as we might do something that is maybe outside of the box of Middle Eastern cuisine, it still has to have that authenticity.

We’ve changed so much in the last year and I think the evolution will continue. It’s necessary for a restaurant to evolve because if you don’t, you become static and boring and you become an experience that somebody’s already had. Part of the reason we’re able to do what we’re doing now is that there’s a trust that we’ve built that has allowed us a little bit more creative freedom. It’s allowed us to start to pull ingredients that are decidedly northwest—on one plate we are celebrating two places at once. When we first opened, it was really more about celebrating the origins and at points we had to use ingredients that were out of season in order to hit all the authentic dishes. But right now you’re looking at a Middle Eastern restaurant that doesn’t have tabbouleh on the dinner menu. That’s not something that could have happened when we first opened. We had to prove that we could do all of those other things first and provide a sense of comfort through authenticity. But we showed that we are restaurant with sincerity and some semblance of an old soul, so we were able to take the cuisine and push it forward. And I hope that in the future we’ll start to move away from being somewhat of a black sheep of a restaurant. There was a feeling in the beginning that we were a little bit of a novelty. But we’re moving into a place where we’re being taken very seriously as a restaurant, and not just a Middle Eastern restaurant.

I think people who are really observant don’t necessarily look for inspiration but stumble upon it. I could be inspired by a conversation that I have with Racha and Wassef about a memory from their childhood, or it could be a memory of my own, or it could be going to a 7-11 at 3 o’clock in the morning and seeing something that I find really delicious. For me, the most important thing about inspiration is that it requires a harmony between two things: there must be a healthy combination of passion and humility. To be inspired by something is to acknowledge that something or someone has done something that is worthy of dedicating your energy to. And then you must have passion in order to put inspiration into motion. Those two things are at the heart of what we do here. This is a truly inspired restaurant. And everything else sort of stems from there. It comes at the most unexpected times and the most unexpected places as long as you’re open to that.

I really believe that we are at the forefront of the movement for Middle Eastern cuisine. Our restaurant is staying really true to form and doing at a level that the likes of which don’t really exist, but I think that it will one day. In hindsight—and this doesn’t come from a place of arrogance, it’s a hope— I would hope that as the movement starts to take places and this becomes more than just a trend, that we will be considered the restaurant that helped shape that and really set the bar for it. I think we’re really paving the way for something greater. You won’t necessarily see it now and you might not see it a year from now, but there is a much larger thing that is happening. It’s not tangible, but is definitely palpable.


Mamnoon Spotlight: Racha Haroun

Mamnoon co-owner Racha Haroun on the Middle Eastern palate and impressing the moms.

Mamnoon has just recently celebrated one year in business. Congrats! Tell me a bit about the journey so far.

It's been exciting-challenging but necessary. Since I am Syrian and Iranian, I feel that it's through the food that guests have been able to appreciate the warmth and compassion that have been part of our cultures for thousands of years.

I grew up eating both foods and for many years shared my love and respect for the food with our friends. It felt like the right time to share with our adopted home, Seattle. We feel honored that people appreciate the experience and share the love of the food.

All the recent events and news are masking the good that’s in these ancient civilizations and I feel compelled to share these positive aspects with Seattle and the greater Northwest community.

How would you describe the role you play at the restaurant?

I really love the creative aspect of mamnoon. Art has always been a very important part of my life and I taught myself to cook the foods that I grew up with while living in Seattle.

I am proud to be part of the creative process of bringing mamnoon to life. Curating the guest experience from start to finish, the feel and the taste.

I was raised with the palate to know and appreciate good Lebanese, Syrian and Iranian cuisines. Our culinary team is exceptionally talented, but not necessarily totally experienced in the cuisine and the desired outcomes. I work closely with our executive chef Garrett Melkonian and the rest of the talented kitchen staff and have been excited to see that they've started to acquire the palate and can now make authentic dishes better than I ever made. Even our most critical guests, our moms, approve! We apply a lot of creativity in presenting dishes that are common in the middle east, but new to most of our guests, to help make the dishes less mysterious and more approachable.

What have been some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of the process?

The most rewarding part is realizing that our hearts are in the right place. We are proud of our foods but we wanted to showcase it in a modern Northwest setting.

We noticed that our children are very proud of our achievement and the fact that hard work and perseverance pays off. The hardest part has been the constant awareness that our families are living in a tense war situation with a very uncertain future. Caring and nurturing mamnoon keeps us busy and sane, while really highlighting the beautiful aspects of our culture.


We're pleased to announce the winners of our Cocktail Naming Contest!

Below you'll find the 1st and 2nd place winners for all 11 our of specialty cocktails.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated and for all the creative outpouring!

No. 1
1st place: SXSE
2nd place: High West Drifter

No. 2
1st place: Desert Rose
2nd place: Marianne

No. 3
1st place: Mamnoon Mule
2nd place: Kickin’ Kabul

No. 4
1st place: Mighty Aphrodite
2nd place: Sassie Lassie

No. 5
1st place: Old Beirut
2nd place: Figgin’ A,

No. 6
1st place: Mediterranean Crossing
2nd place: Levantine Elixir

No. 7
1st place: The French Rind
2nd place: Gin(ie) in a Bottle

No. 8
1st place: Mid East Algonquin
2nd place: Chic Sheik

No. 9
1st place: Night Owl
2nd place: Turkish Sunrise

No. 10
1st place: Habibti
2nd place: Persephone Rising

No. 11
1st place: Sheherazad’s Fire
2nd place: The Devil’s Wife


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