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New Restaurant Wants To Create “Authentic” Dining Experience

Mediterranean cuisine now at Zaytoon, open in the A&P Shopping Plaza

When a chef from Jerusalem and a banker from Jordan decided to open a restaurant in Mahwah, they both knew exactly what they wanted it to do.

“We wanted to provide authentic Mediterranean cuisine to people in this area,” said Labib Faris, who moved to Northern Jersey from Jordan after high school.

“We grew up eating and making this food, so we know what it is supposed to taste like.”

With this idea in mind, Zaytoon Medierranean Cuisine opened about two months ago in the A&P Shopping Plaza on Franklin Turnpike, and is still celebrating its grand opening.

Rami Salman, the chef who has owned three other similar restaurants in and around Bergen County, said his recipes always use fresh ingredients and are made to order.

“I use old-fashioned recipes. A lot of them are from my mother and grandmother. We get the fresh ingredients because that’s the only way they taste right,” he said.

The restaurant’s name, Zaytoon, is an Arabic word meaning “olives.” It is indicative of some of the recipes, including hummus, falafel and kababs, that you can find at the restaurant.

The duo decided to bring this type of food to Mahwah because they say it is a niche that is missing from the area.

“It was missing a Middle Eastern touch, so we wanted to bring that,” Salman said.

“We wanted to give the people here a different kind of dining experience, and so far, the community has been very welcoming,” Faris added.

To add to the dining experience, Zaytoon has imported some décor – lanterns, dishes, etc. – from Mediterranean countries.

The menu, which Faris says is evolving as they try adding new recipes and soliciting feedback from customers, has a unique characteristic that is unlike many American recipes.

“Most of our dishes are light and healthy, so you don’t feel too full to move after you are finished. They are just satisfying,” Salman said.

“We like to make what we would want to eat; that’s the kind of food we want to be serving,” Faris added.

To view Zaytoon’s lunch, dinner, take-out and catering menus, visit www.zaytoonmahwah.com, call 201-252-8274, or stop by.

Glenn Murphy August 09, 2011 at 03:02 PM
I hope that this "New Business" Makes it.. Other wise Mahwah is in a Major Bumpy Ride.
DEBORAH TAXI 845*300*0332 :) August 11, 2011 at 07:10 PM
Tried the Zaytoon Combination Appetizers along with Marinated chicken and Falafel last night. There was nothing left on the plates when we left. Waitress Maureen explained everything and described foods in detail patiently and very friendly. We will return.
Glenn Murphy August 13, 2011 at 01:34 AM
Please "SPEND The Time" to tell your Frieds & Family about your experience at this business.. I hope It goes "WELL" for the "OWNERS" in terms of business.
Donnamarie April 22, 2012 at 03:09 AM
Had a wonderful experience. Food was great, and I love these guys! Hummus with schwarma, falafel, grape leaves - many other selections to choose from. You have to experience it to appreciate it!
Glenn Murphy April 23, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Then tell your "Friends" and "Family" about this place.. Otherwise he will go:Out of Business...

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