Every few weeks my friend M. and I go out with a group of friends to try out a new restaurant. A few weeks ago, we decided to try Naya, a new “contemporary” Lebonese restaurant in Midtown East. When I got to the restaurant, I immediately noticed that although the space was relatively small, it was very well designed to make it have a spacious and futuristic feel.
Eating: Future Style
Naya – 2nd Ave and 56th Street
The menu includes many traditional Middle Eastern items including stuffed grape leaves, hummus, baba ghannouj, shawarma and kebabs.
Our meal began with a complimentary appetizer of olives, toasted pita squares and dipping sauce, and a not complimentary appetizer of stuffed grape leaves:
Crunchy + salty
mmm … stuffed
Also, we each ordered a different main entree. I decided on the chicken shawarma, which came with pita bread and french fries (not very Lebanese!). My friends got the mixed grill, lamb kebab, and the house special, which turned out to be a sort of Lebanese meat loaf:
Chicken and fries (with mayonnaise! … am I in Belgium?)
Overall, the food was pretty tasty but also pretty pricey – my shawarma was the cheapest dish at $18. Also, skip the wine – we ordered a bottle for the table and discovered that Lebanese wine has a very .. interesting finish.
The verdict? If you’re in it for the ambiance and want to experience what it feels like to eat in the future, go for it. If you’re in it purely to get some good Lebanese food, I would recommend going to Oasis in Williamsburg – you can get double the food for half the price!
Oasis – 7th St. and Bedford Ave.