A restaurant can change the game if it has an ambitious, original and wholly unexpected vision. Such is the case with Suraya, a concept best described as a Middle Eastern dining complex.
A partnership between Café La Maude’s Nathalie Richan, her developer brother Roland Kassis and Root Restaurant and Wine Bar’s Nick Kennedy and Greg Root, Suraya brings a refreshingly new experience to Fishtown.
Celebrating the flavors of the Levant – the area that includes Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Iraq — and serving them up in a gorgeously designed setting, Suraya compels American eaters to more seriously explore the rich culinary traditions on offer.
The open-all-day complex features a market and a café and wine bar, and will eventually encompass a full-service restaurant and outdoor garden.
At the market, diners can purchase cookbooks and handmade kitchenware and linens, along with pantry staples like olive oil, spices and gift baskets.
Suraya compels American eaters to more seriously explore the rich culinary traditions on offer.
The café plates up Lebanese specialties such as man’oushe (flatbreads topped with za’atar, cheese, egg and other ingredients) and ma’amoul cookies flavored with dates, walnuts or pistachios, plus Middle Eastern-inflected French pastry.
Salads with grilled meats and falafel, stuffed pita sandwiches and plates of hummus and ful madammas turn up at lunchtime.
On the beverage side, there’s a full coffee bar brewing Stumptown beans, and heady potables like orange blossom iced tea and jallab (date molasses drink with raisins and pine nuts), plus a small selection of wine, cocktails and beer.
The upcoming restaurant will bring a broader spread of shareable dishes both large and small from the expansive charcoal grill and Woodstone oven.
The café at Suraya plates up Lebanese specialties.
— Photo courtesy Suraya
With 12,000 square feet of natural-light-infused industrial space, Suraya has plenty of room to embrace multiple functions, with each flowing effortlessly into the next and converting from day to night service as needed.
Richard Stokes Architecture draws on Middle Eastern motifs in the tile work, windows and hanging lanterns while mixing in modern elements such as whitewashed brick, stainless steel tabletops and herringbone wood flooring.
The effect is pure eye candy.
At Suraya, Richard Stokes Architecture draws on Middle Eastern motifs.
— Photo courtesy Suraya
The arrival of Suraya signals that Fishtown, for years a great restaurant neighborhood, has officially become a culinary mecca in Philadelphia. Other points of delicious interest include:
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An intoxicating Italian eatery set in a former distillery