Restaurant Review: Amar in Delray Serves Up Lebanese-Mediterranean Cuisine
Disclosure: I was invited to dine at Amar in exchange for this post. All opinions here are my own.
Nestled in the bustling Ave (Atlantic Ave, for those not familiar with Delray Beach) is a new addition to the restaurant scene: Amar. The perfect marriage between Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisine, dishes are painstakingly created with a range of spices, textures, colors, and flavors. It may sound conflicting, but it works.
This paired with the cozy ambiance creates an atmosphere reminiscent of attending a gathering at a friend’s home. Albeit, the home of owners Nicolas and Susanna Kurban, plus their staff.
With the exception of the kebabs, sheikh el mehchi, kibbeh, and panna cotta (vegetarian), everything listed here is vegan. But don’t think this fact compromises taste or quality — quite the opposite, actually.
Read on to find out why.
- Chickpea puree, tahini, lemon and garlic
- One word: fresh. Paired with warm, fluffy pita, it’s a match made in heaven.
- Charred eggplant puree, tahini, lemon
- This appetizer was my favorite of the night, and a must if you visit. You won’t want to share it, trust me. Although pomegranate seeds atop baba ghanouj is quite common, it was my first time trying this particular variation. I’m a fan.
- Greens, tomato, cucumber, radish, scallions, toasted pita, sumac pomegranate vinaigrette
- The fattouch is basically a salad, but don’t mistake it for being boring. With a variety of texture and flavors, this appetizer is a tasty, healthy choice. The toasted pita chips add a delightful crunch.
- Grape leaves stuffed with rice, parsley, onion, tomato
- This was my second favorite appetizer. Smooth on the outside and grainy on the inside, the contrast is a party for your tastebuds.
- Eggplant, tomato, onion, chickpeas, olive oil, spices
- Great on pita or by itself, the moussaka has so many different flavors going on. You won’t be able to pinpoint exactly what you’re tasting, and that’s a good thing.
- Fried chickpeas and fava bean croquettes, tahini, pickled turnips
- Another classic Mediterranean app. The pickled turnips added a nice flair normally not accompanied with falafel.
- Beef and bulgur dumplings, onions, pine nuts, mint-cucumber yogurt
- These dumplings were fun to bite into surface wise. Crispy on the outside, they weren’t overly fried. As for the inside, the ground meat was accompanied nicely with pine nuts.
- Spicy crispy potatoes, garlic, lemon, coriander
- Crunchy on the corners and soft on the inside, you’ll eat these potatoes clean.
Kebabs & Signature Dishes
- Chicken shish taouk, kafta kebab, steak kebab, served with rice
- A staple in Mediterranean restaurants, the mixed grill kebabs has a little something for everyone. The kafta (charbroiled ground beef and lamb skewers) is the best tasting of the three. Pro tip: dip every meat into the toum sauce. This fluffy garlic whip is highly addictive, and you may want to eat it on everything else for the rest of your life. Veggies, meat, pita — it goes on everything. I’m calling it now: it will be a game changer with fries.
SHEIKH EL MEHCHI
- Eggplant stuffed with minced meat baked with tomato and red pepper sauce, served with rice
- Read the description again — it’s a hearty one. For those who can’t decide between a carnivorous or vegetarian dish, the sheikh el mehchi is the best of both worlds.
TAHINI DARK CHOCOLATE CAKE
- Chocolate ganache, sesame seed brittle
- For those who like rich desserts, this one’s for you. This cake is so decadent, it’s hard to believe it’s vegan.
LABNE PANNA COTTA
- Milky labneh pudding, dried fruits, fig jam, pistachios
- This sweet treat is full of creamy goodness and makes a nice, light ending after dinner.