The Cincinnati Bailliage returned to the Phoenician Taverna restaurant July 10th for the third time in 5 years. The reason that the chapter keeps this Lebanese eatery on their “must return frequently” list is simple. They serve outstanding Lebanese Middle Eastern cuisine in a warm atmosphere with impeccable service.
Wassim Matar, former owner of the Lebanese Tavern in Washington, DC, opened the restaurant in 2012 in an unassuming strip mall northeast of Cincinnati. In the ﬁve years since its inception, the restaurant has received rave reviews from numerous food critics and this year has earned a coveted place in Cincinnati Magazine’s “10 Best Restaurants in Cincinnati”. This rapid rise to success is certainly due to Mr. Matar’s hands on approach, where nothing is left to chance.
Vice Chargée de Mission Carmen Parks, Mr. Matar, and Bailli George Elliott set the evening up as a dine-around where members brought one exceptional bottle of wine per person to be shared throughout the evening. The wine was lined up on the bar and multiple dishes were brought family style to the tables including salads, dips, kebabs, baba ganoush, rice stuffed grapes leaves, falafel, and much more.
The servers were extremely helpful in explaining the various dishes to members who were not well versed in Mediterranean cuisine. Overseeing this symphony of culinary excellence, of course, was Mr. Matar. At the end of the evening, some members were overheard already planning a future event.
Graig Smith, Vice Chargé de Presse