Location – 2748 N. Lincoln (Lincoln and Diversey)
In one word – Familiar
Food – Come for the Lebanese menu, stay for the family-like treatment you’ll receive from the staff. I had one of the specials, a lamb casserole with dried fruits. It was juicy and flavorful. Additionally you receive a complimentary soup (the carrot soup is great) and dessert (an ice cream/kulfi mixture). My eating partners had the lamb couscous and the other two specials for the day. All were satisfied.
Drink – We settled for a bottle of the cab. The nice thing is that the wine ranges in price, you have plenty of options if your wallet isn’t thick.
Service – The food was complimented by the service. The owner was on the floor of this place serving the food, making sure all the customers were happy. I felt like the owner was a father-figure by the end of the meal. This is the type of place where you’d want to be a regular because the service is that good.
Occasion – The place is pretty quiet and relatively intimate. Come here on a date or with some friends. You also could have a work dinner here if you want the atmosphere to be low-key.
Dress – I wouldn’t dress down, but at the same time, don’t try that hard for your dinner look. Jeans are fine.
Cost – You’ll pay $30-ish for an appetizer, entree and beverage.
If you like, try…Cedars of Lebanon
Location – 432 W. Ontario (Ontario, between Orleans and Kingsbury)
In one word – Standard
Food – When you’re looking for some quality standard Middle Eastern food, come to Reza’s. Expect nothing new or innovative, just predictable falafel, kabobs and baba ghanouj. Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s a plus at the place. I like to do the sampler plates when I am at Reza’s, it feels like I’m getting the “best of” plate (try Vegetable Sampler #4). You can also do a brunch buffet on the weekends for $19.95. I think you should only do this if you’re really hungry or want to have it all because generally portions at Reza’s are decently big.
Drink – This is not the place to go to for outstanding wines, but its selection will do. I’d advise trying the Persian coffee if you’re looking for an authentic drink.
Service – Every time I’m at Reza’s I have decently good service. The waitstaff isn’t looking to become a good friend, but they will serve you in a timely and polite manner.
Occasion – I like the location on Ontario because the space is giant. This allows you tons to look at if your dinner convo is lagging. I think you could come to Reza’s for pretty much any occasion. It’s not too formal for a casual dinner with friends, but at the same time, it’s not too casual for a date, meal with parents, etc. Note that there’s also some alfresco dining too (yah!).
Dress – Don’t get hung up on this if you’re at Reza’s. You’ll see walks of all kinds.
Cost – The most recent time I went we paid a little over $20 per person for lunch.
If you like, try… – Parthenon, Cedars of Lebanon