First Look

First Look: A Trip to the Mediterranean at Darna in Plano

Iskandar kofta kebabs
Iskandar kofta kebabs Angie Quebedeaux
With inflation, most of us can only dream of traveling to the Mediterranean this summer. The good news is that a new exotic destination has just landed in Plano, and for those looking to experience an international smorgasbord, Darna Mediterranean Market should be on the list of places to visit soon.

Located in the Legacy West development, Darna is a large open-concept market, restaurant, bar and bakery all in one. In front is an outdoor patio area with about 10 tables and umbrellas for those days when the temperature is bearable.
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There are foods available to go, or you can eat at the full-service restaurant.
Angie Quebedeaux
The large market and restaurant are decorated in mosaic tile with gold light fixtures that add a nice touch to the casual laid-back atmosphere.

At the full-service bar they have signature cocktails that enhance the Mediterranean theme. We recommend the Turkish Coffee-Tini ($12) or Marrakesh margarita ($15). While there are domestic options available, most of the wines and beer are from Mediterranean countries.

The restaurant staff is friendly and quick to offer explanations or recommendations. Focaccia and pita bread with extra-virgin olive oil is complimentary. To start, try the lamb ragu hummus ($14), loaded with ground lamb and topped with crispy pita chips, pickled onions, blistered tomatoes, saffron yogurt, pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts and two pats of Moroccan butter with micro greens on top. Although this dish is great for sharing, it could easily be a meal by itself.
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Turkish goat cheese and harissa borek
Angie Quebedeaux
If you’re in the mood for a light starter, the Turkish goat cheese and harissa borek ($12) is a great choice. The layers of phyllo dough are stuffed with harissa goat cheese before being baked crisp and served with a lemon tzatziki sauce.
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Roasted lamb French dip
Angie Quebedeaux
The roasted lamb French dip sandwich ($22) is served on a crisp za’atar baguette smeared with lemon tzatziki. Layers of slow-roasted leg of lamb are piled on the bread along with caramelized onions and kashkaval cheese.

For a main entrée, the Iskandar kofta kebab ($23) is a great choice, and the presentation of this dish is Instagram-worthy. The bottom of the dish has a buttery tomato sauce that is topped with a combination of seasonal vegetables (zucchini and squash), herbed focaccia bread, shishito peppers and blistered tomatoes. Four pieces of kofta (about 2-inches each) are laid on top with a warm yogurt drizzle. If we ordered it again, the only change we would make would be to have it cooked a little less than well-done, which can be a hard thing to do when cooking skewers on an open flame.
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The Mediterranean flatbread can be bought by the slice or whole.
Angie Quebedeaux
We didn’t have room to try any of their flatbreads, but the one that caught our attention was the Mediterranean flatbread. You can order it by the slice ($9), half ($14) or whole ($22).
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Darna has a dessert and pastry section that is worth the trip alone.
Angie Quebedeaux
Be sure to save room for dessert as they have some great options available such as a kinafa cheesecake, a baklava mini tray and Italian lemon cake.
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Beef and chicken kofta kebabs
Angie Quebedeaux
And after enjoying a meal at the restaurant be sure to check out their freshly prepared foods to go like skewered meats, cheese, seasonal vegetables, hummus, cured meats and a great wine selection to take home.

Darna Mediterranean Market, 7700 Windrose Ave. (Plano) 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday - Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
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Angie Quebedeaux is a freelance food writer for the Observer. A "ragin' Cajun" from Lafayette, she's been in Dallas since 2002. She is an HR director by day and loves to “laissez les bon temps rouler.”