My infatuation with Neomonde began while I was attending N.C. State. I often frequented the Raleigh Café, one of their three locations which happened to be close to campus (link to locations.) About five months ago Neomonde opened in North Raleigh. I heard the new location continuously baked fresh pita bread and brought it out to your table. Say no more, I had to check it out!
When I walked into Neomonde, I immediately noticed the family-feel of the restaurant. Pictures of the Saleh brothers, who opened the restaurant, were hanging on the wall. One of the brothers, Mounir, and his two daughters, Noelle and Simone, were all busy at work. Arabic music was also playing in the background, and the smell of fresh pita bread filled the air. I felt at home as I was welcomed by the friendly employees.
My brother, Kevin, and I tried a wide variety of dishes. To begin our dinner, we drank a French Broad Anvil Porter. (The North Raleigh Neomonde is now carrying alcoholic beverages, this delicious dark, chocolate flavored beer from Asheville being one.)
We began our meal with a few appetizers. The award-winning hummus with fresh pita bread is a must. The hummus is extra creamy with the perfect amount of garlic and lemon juice. The grape leaves stuffed with rice, tomato and Mediterranean spices were also excellent, and I dipped these in the tangy labneh, a Lebanese yogurt.
We also had falafel, which is fried chickpeas, parsley, garlic and spices. The falafel was Kevin’s absolute favorite appetizer; he loves the crunchy outside.
I was anxious to try the kibbeh nayyeh, a traditional Lebanese delicacy Neomonde only offers on Friday and Saturday nights. The dish consists of bulgar, raw ground beef and spices, which you spread on pita bread. Don’t let the raw beef scare you away; the kibbeh nayyeh is amazing and one of my new favorites at Neomonde.
After filling up on appetizers, Kevin and I enjoyed Neomonde’s special, salmon with curried rice, which was seasoned perfectly with dill and an olive oil garlic tahini sauce. Neomonde has lunch and dinner specials, which you can find out about on their Twitter or Facebook page.
Just when I thought I couldn’t eat anymore, a plate of desserts was brought to our table. Neomonde now offers vegan desserts, and we tried a strawberry dipped in vegan dark chocolate. We also had dates stuffed with mascarpone cheese and pistachios. Both of the desserts were light and tasted wonderful.
After dinner, Kevin and I picked up salads and sides from the hot and cold food cases, as well as pita bread and other snacks from the market located inside the restaurant. Not only can you eat a fabulous meal here, but also you can go grocery shopping. If you’re looking for healthy, wholesome food, go check out Neomonde. They have been serving authentic Lebanese food since 1977 and would love to have you try their family’s recipes.