Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions

Lebanese Food / Wine and Culinary Traditions
Spring time always inspires me...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mamnoon Tasting - 1st round

The hungry bunch
On the table
We had a tasting on Saturday where my Seattle hosts (Wassef and Racha Haroun) invited a group of friends to a preview of Mamnoon's menu items. We served saj and oven baked goods with an assortment  of mezze items. Beverages included: arak, yogurt (ayran) drink, homemade pink lemonade, and wine. The ambiance was very friendly and everyone had the opportunity to voice his / her opinion. Thankfully, most were positive. Thing is with Seatlle products (which I am not putting down), garlic is milder, lemon is less acidic, and tomatoes are not as sweet as the ones we are used to in Lebanon. Barbara (me) is adjusting to all these factors. The chef I work with, Chef Garrett, is used to kosher salt, here again the taste is milder. When we work with dairy products in Seattle, it just screams "fresh and delicious". Amazing! If I stick around, I am going to become a large cow. Chef Garrett has made us some fresh cheese with some farm milk. You can imagine how that turned out.  He topped it with cherries soaked in honey, reduced in a sugar syrup —flavored with cinnamon, pomegranate molasses, and a few drops of lemon juice. Food is about sharing. This event was an opportunity to introduce the restaurant's food concept and basic mood (authentic/ fresh / modern). Mamnoon will use local products to bring out Middle Eastern flavors to the Northwest in a setting that will definitely leave an impact.

Wassef and Racha Haroun
Chef Garrett on the saj with his homemade basterma