It isn’t easy to make it in the Greenwood dining enclave. Sure, the neighborhood may look suburban and welcoming, but the competition is cut throat. Many new entries barely last a year and since 2012, the area has seen around 10 closures. To survive, restaurants must be casual enough for a mid-week dinner (most diners live in the area) but sophisticated too (those upper middle class folks know their food).
Levant, however, looks like it has a fighting chance. This Middle Eastern restaurant is homey yet exotic. It’s a cozy space featuring brick-lined walls and pretty mosaic tile-covered tables, all bathed in warm light. They have a special niche—Lebanese, Persian and Arabic food—on the shop-house stretch (where Japanese food and European cuisine is already well represented).
And the grub is well priced too. The affordable set lunch goes for just $15 (soup, kebab, rice, dessert and coffee), while the main menu is full of simple soul satisfying dishes. Check out the soup of the day ($7.50)—when we visited it was a sinus-clearing ginger broth—and the speciality grills. We’d come back for the juicy swish tawooq ($28), grilled chicken with saffron, and the halabi kebab ($29), tender minced lamb. From the appetizers, the watery hummus ($10) and bland stuffed vine leaves ($15) were lackluster, so skip those.
Otherwise, Levant’s a really solid joint for a satisfying—and far from boring—meal.