Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

First Look: Zaytoon Lebanese Kitchen, Opening Next Week

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 4:09 PM

click to enlarge dscn1757_2_.jpg
Over the past year, David Ina has worked to transform the old-school Huron Square Deli space in the Halle Building into a bright and breezy fast-casual Middle Eastern concept called Zaytoon Lebanese Kitchen (1150 Huron Rd. E., 216-795-5000). The Playhouse Square eatery is on track to open its doors this Monday, July 10.

click to enlarge dscn1747_2_.jpg
“I’ve had this idea for a long time,” says Ina, who along with his parents also runs the popular Al’s Deli (1717 E. 9th St., 216-589-9223) on the main floor of the Residences at 1717. “It’s a fast-casual Lebanese eatery where everything can be made and served quickly.”

The breakfast and lunch operation has an open kitchen, where everything is made from scratch and prepared to order. A pair of shawarmas – chicken thigh and Certified Angus Beef tri-tip – spin lazily behind the counter. A beefy two-level deck oven turns out fresh-baked pita, meat pies and Za'atar flatbreads. Plump falafel balls and hand-cut fries emerge from the bubbling oil in the deep fryer.
click to enlarge dscn1761_2_.jpg
“Everything that we are doing here is made from scratch – the pita bread, pickled turnips, labneh (Lebanese yogurt), hummus and desserts,” Ina explains.

click to enlarge dscn1752_2_.jpg
In the morning, diners can order breakfast pitas filled with egg, spinach and feta; egg, olives, artichokes and red peppers; or egg, slow roasted leg of lamb, roasted garlic and fresh mint.

At lunch, bowls of lentil soup and tabbouleh, fattoush and falafel salads join meat or spinach pies, and rolled pitas filled with beef shawarma, chicken shishtawook, and crispy falafel. Just three entrees are available, platters of either shishtawook, shawarma or falafel paired with a choice of salads and spreads.

click to enlarge dscn1753_2_.jpg
Ina says that he plans to integrate online ordering and payment so that customers can pop in and out in under five minutes.

“Zaytoon” means olive in Lebanese, notes Ina.

“The core of Lebanese food always starts with really good olive oil,” Ina says.

Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Speaking of Zaytoon Lebanese Kitchen

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 5, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation