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Mar 20, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Ranoush’

St. Louis’ first Levantine restaurant will open next month in the CWE

Thursday, March 8th, 2018



The Central West End will get a taste of the Levant next month. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, Levant is slated to open in mid-April at 386 N. Euclid Ave., taking the place of former Kopperman’s Deli.

Owner Ahmad Hameed is the brother of Aboud Alhamid, who owns Ranoush in The Loop. They will both helm the restaurant as head chefs. Hameed worked at Ranoush for more than three years and was ready to “go his own way,” he said, but the brothers will still work closely together to operate the new restaurant.

The restaurant takes its name from the Levant, a large region in the eastern Mediterranean that includes countries such as Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Levant will offer homestyle Middle Eastern dishes, including kibbeh bi laban (meatballs with cracked wheat and a yogurt-based sauce) and okra cooked with garlic, tomato sauce and fresh tomato. Vegetarian and grilled options will also be available.




“This is food we cook every day, food our mothers would cook for us … instead of restaurant-style food like at Ranoush,” said Hameed, who has been in the restaurant industry 20 years, including a stint at a seven-star hotel in Dubai.

Guests can expect more than just another Ranoush. Aside from a unique menu, the 100- to 120-seat restaurant will feature a more modern interior and a larger bar. “We’re going to do something really special for everybody in St. Louis,” Alhamid said.

Hameed also hopes to turn the space into a European-inspired lounge in the late evenings, complete with a dance floor and a DJ on the weekends. “I love the Central West End,” Alhamid said. “Sometimes you like something and don’t know why.”

Photos courtesy of Levant 

Claire Ma is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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Readers’ Choice 2016: St. Louis’ Best Boulevard

Friday, July 1st, 2016


With seven Readers’ Choice winners on one street, the Delmar Loop is the tastiest stroll in St. Louis.

Favorite food truck: Seoul Taco
Stuffed to the breaking point with kimchi fried rice, lettuce, cheese, carrots, green onions, sour cream and Seoul sauce, the spicy pork burrito is reason enough for a pilgrimage to the brick and mortar of this Korean barbecue mecca. Throw in a couple pan-fried pot stickers for good measure.

Favorite restaurant to take visitors: Blueberry Hill
This Loop staple serves a ridiculously good, flawlessly charred 7-ounce, 100-percent ground chuck burger. It’s worth the long wait. Stave off hunger pangs with a basket of fried cheddar cheese balls alongside salsa for proper dunking. Order your out-of-towners the fluffy toasted ravioli – some of the best in the city.

Favorite Middle Eastern: Ranoush
Standouts at this traditional Middle Eastern kitchen include the fried kibbe balls and cheese-stuffed grilled pita kalaj starters, along with the succulent grilled beef shawarma wrapped in a warm pita with creamy garlic sauce.

Favorite late-night eats (tie): Peacock Diner
Order the Loop Fling from the breakfast-all-day menu – a sinfully good slinger covered with chorizo gravy. With booze-fueled, Serendipity ice cream-laced milkshakes available well past midnight, it’s little surprise that the Peacock Diner is an after-hours favorite.

Favorite pizza: Pi Pizzeria
Take on Chicago deep-dish pizza at its cornmeal-crusted best in the South Side Classico, a supreme feast of gooey mozzarella, thick mushrooms, savory hunks of Berkshire sausage and crisp green peppers and onion.

Favorite Thai: Fork & Stix
Delve into an overwhelming bowl of khao soi, a rich and satisfying curry noodle soup swimming with soft wonton noodles, crispy yellow noodles and chunks of beef, chicken or tofu. And be sure to make use of the nam prik num, a fiery Thai hot sauce.

Favorite Mexican and favorite late-night eats (tie): Mission Taco Joint
Mission gives Mexico’s (and Baja California’s) darling finger food serious thought. Get the killer Mango-Hop-Anero Shrimp Taco, with 4 Hands Incarnation IPA-battered shrimp and fresh mango in hand-pressed corn tortillas. It begs for a cold sip of cerveza.


-illustration by Vidhya Nagarajan


Meatless Monday: Ranoush’s Meza

Monday, September 2nd, 2013



It’s not often vegetarians and meat-lovers can dine in harmony at one restaurant; someone always gets the dinky section of the menu. But at Ranoush, traditional Syrian meatless dishes get as much love as kababs and grilled meats. Entrees are available, but diners can easily make a meal by sharing three of the dozen or so hot and cold meza.

These small plates, available at the Kirkwood and U. City locations, can easily sate a hungry appetite. Crisp, golf-ball sized falafel yields to a verdant, moist center of spiced ground chickpeas. Cheese fatayer – Halloumi cheese wrapped in pastry and fried – oozes when you first slice into this little pie. And use fresh pita to scoop up refreshing, cool baba ghanoush to cut through some of the heavy fried goodness. Oh, and be sure to ask for a side of Ranoush’s garlic mayonnaise to dip, well, everything. No sacrifices here.



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