Zatar Lebanese Tapas & Bar

For this city, for too long, “Mediterranean” food — the euphemism restaurateurs use to avoid racist sentiment — meant a simple diet of gyros, hummus and lukewarm lunch buffets. Zatar Lebanese Tapas ditches the word “Mediterranean” and presents a menu of foods which are difficult, or impossible, to find elsewhere in North Texas. The cheese board offers choices from Lebanon: grilled halloumi, kashkaval and yogurt-based labneh. Baba ghannouj, or roasted eggplant dip, is fairly mild-mannered; muhammara, a roasted red bell pepper dip with pureed walnuts and pomegranate molasses, is a scene-stealer. Sujuk “pies” are ultra-thin-crust Lebanese pizzas with toppings like akawi, a briney Palestinian cheese. The main courses, too, offer happy twists on the familiar. Nothing exemplifies this better than moussaka, which Greek restaurants have trained us to think of as a sort of eggplant lasagna. At Zatar, the moussaka is a hearty, wintry vegetable stew of eggplant, tomatoes and chickpeas.

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