August 11, 2022

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Amar Mediterranean Bistro, dishing Lebanese household recipes, opening in Delray Seaside

4 min read

Right after a globetrotting meals career burning vivid alongside star chefs Bobby Flay and Thomas Keller, cafe operator Nicolas Kurban wanted to return household again.



a glass of wine on a table: Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring modern twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.


© Emiliano Brooks/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS
Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring present day twists on traditional Lebanese delicacies, will open to the community on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach front.

The Lebanon-born businessman, soon after 25 several years of running food and beverage packages at hotel-casinos from the Borgata in Jersey City to Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas, craved the simple pleasures of his parents’ household cooking in Beirut. In late January Kurban designs to open up his latest restaurant, Amar Mediterranean Bistro, on Delray Beach’s Atlantic Avenue, with fashionable Lebanese dishes crafted from aged relatives recipes.



a store front at day: Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring modern twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.


© Emiliano Brooks/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS
Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring modern-day twists on common Lebanese delicacies, will open to the community on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Seaside.

“In the finish, the pandemic designed this transpire,” claims Kurban, who lives in Boca Raton with his wife and daughters. “I would be lying if I did not skip my other dream positions, and it was exciting opening eating places in Shanghai and Tokyo and Barcelona, but getting your very own issue is exciting.”

The 60-seat Amar Mediterranean Bistro at 522 E. Atlantic Ave. replaces the former Scuola Vecchia Pizza e Vino pizzeria, and sits one block east of the Delray iPic theater. The industrial-stylish bistro seats 48 inside of and 12 extra on its sidewalk patio, and is adorned in brick walls, marble tables and leather banquettes, rustic wooden shelving and brass lights.



a glass of wine on a table: Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring modern twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.


© Emiliano Brooks/South Florida Solar Sentinel/TNS
Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring fashionable twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open up to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.

At least 60 website visitors final 7 days by itself have knocked on the entrance doorway to inquire about Amar, which convinces Kurban that Lebanese food items fills a significant void in Atlantic Avenue cuisine.

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“When I notify them it’s Lebanese, they say to me, ‘Thank God, it’s about time,’ ” he states. “How a lot of extra Italian restaurants are you heading to have on Atlantic Avenue? This space wants assortment.”

Not that Atlantic Avenue is devoid of Mediterranean fare Amar shares the eating drag with mini Greek chain Taverna Opa to the west and other tasteful eateries (La Cigale, Joseph Wine Bar) to the south and north. Inside of the 1,200-sq.-foot bistro, approximately 50 percent the menu will be devoted to warm and chilly mezze, or shareable plates, and entrées start out with toasted pita from Amar’s wood-burning oven.

50 percent of the menu, nevertheless getting finalized, will consist of entrees and desserts that spotlight Kurban’s parents’ recipes. 1 of his mother’s house-cooked dishes is sheikh el mehchi, or eggplant stuffed with ground beef, pine nuts, tomato sauce and onions. (Sheikha el mehchi, its vegan equivalent, substitutes chickpeas for beef.)

Kurban credits his father, Elie, for Amar’s hummus and marinated kebab dishes this kind of as rooster shish taouk, featuring skewered charbroiled hen breast, charred onions, tomatoes and a Lebanese garlic sauce termed toum. Desserts, created by Kurban’s wife, Susanna, involve tahini chocolate cake and labneh panna cotta.

Kurban gained his earliest publicity to Lebanese cuisine as a teenager performing at his father’s cafe in Beirut, which available traditional dishes “but was like a Cheesecake Manufacturing facility with pizza, steak and other worldwide stuff,” he states. He moved to the United States to receive his bachelor’s diploma in hotel administration from The Ohio Point out College but returned to Lebanon to open up La Olivier, a smaller-plates cafe.



a room with a couch a table and looking at the camera: Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring modern twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.


© Emiliano Brooks/South Florida Sunshine Sentinel/TNS
Amar Mediterranean Bistro, showcasing fashionable twists on regular Lebanese delicacies, will open to the community on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach front.

Soon after returning to the States in 1999, Kurban expended the future 20 years in the company foods and beverage entire world. He opened eating places in Las Vegas for Wolfgang Puck and Borgata resorts in New Jersey. He opened outposts of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon bakeries in California and New York, then still left to open Four Seasons and Kimpton Hotels across the earth.



a bench in front of a building: Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring modern twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.


© Emiliano Brooks/South Florida Sunshine Sentinel/TNS
Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring fashionable twists on classic Lebanese delicacies, will open to the general public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Seaside.

“I was finding homesick,” suggests Kurban, who quit his extravagant way of living in 2019 to emphasis on opening Amar.

“I just knew there was a need for Mediterranean food items listed here,” he states. “With the pandemic not going absent, this is a thing I wanted to do one thing for myself.”



a chair sitting in front of a house: Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring modern twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.


© Emiliano Brooks/South Florida Sunlight Sentinel/TNS
Amar Mediterranean Bistro, showcasing contemporary twists on traditional Lebanese delicacies, will open to the general public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Seashore.

Amar Mediterranean Bistro, at 522 E. Atlantic Ave., will open up to the general public on Thursday, Jan. 28. Go to AmarDelray.com.



a glass of wine sitting on top of a wooden table: Amar Mediterranean Bistro, featuring modern twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach.


© Emiliano Brooks/South Florida Sunlight Sentinel/TNS
Amar Mediterranean Bistro, showcasing contemporary twists on traditional Lebanese cuisine, will open to the public on Thursday, Jan. 28, on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Seashore.



a store front at day: Amar Mediterranean Bistro, a new sit-down Lebanese restaurant, will debut in late January on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach Florida. The new bistro comes from Nicolas Kurban, who's opening his first restaurant after 20 years in the corporate hospitality world, working alongside star chefs Bobby Flay and Thomas Keller and running food and beverage programs for the Borgata in Jersey City and Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas.


© Mike Stocker / South Florida Sun Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel/TNS
Amar Mediterranean Bistro, a new sit-down Lebanese cafe, will debut in late January on Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach Florida. The new bistro will come from Nicolas Kurban, who’s opening his first restaurant just after 20 yrs in the company hospitality entire world, working alongside star cooks Bobby Flay and Thomas Keller and operating food items and beverage courses for the Borgata in Jersey Metropolis and Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas.

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