When Wandering Chopsticks was visiting me in Boston, she heard about this Syrian restaurant that was only open on weekends that you need to have reservations to go to. The only time we could go was right after a full day of eating lobsters in Maine, so I wasn't really up for a full dinner but she really wanted to go, and I had just read about this Syrian dessert called kanafeh (or kanafa, kunafe, however you want to spell it) in a novel, The Golem and The Jinni.
As with all Middle Eastern meals, we started with a hummus. We tried the Royal Hummus (with beets, $9)
Everyone was served a salad with pomegranate and spiced with sumac
Chicken Tajin, cooked with spices and herbs, cranberry, almonds, rainbow carrots ($25)
Lobster with glazed peaches ($32)
Kibbeh (ground lamb, onions, spices, pine nuts between layers of lamb and bulgur, $25)
And then .. my long-awaited dessert: Kanafa (unsalted cheese layered with fine phyllo pastry, baked and topped with homemade orange blossom syrup, $13)
I would come back for this. In fact, I am definitely coming back just for this. This was perhaps the most memorable dessert I had this year. I love the warm, soft cheese, sweetened by the orange blossom syrup. The crunchiness of the baked phyllo. This was so good!
As far as Middle Eastern food goes, Kareem's price point is pretty high, but I enjoyed my dining experience. The quality was also better than most and the owners were really friendly. That kanafa though ... that alone is worth getting a reservation for.
99 Common St
Watertown MA 02472