Sometimes I find the best food in my neighborhood restaurants. Taboon is one of them. I got hooked on the restaurant when I lived in Hell’s Kitchen. The food is Middle Eastern/Mediterranean or as they call it "Middleterranean".
I know New York has a lot of restaurants with similar cuisine, but what sets Taboon apart is how they cook the food. Taboon is not just the name of the restaurant but also their wood-oven, which is in clay, shaped like a cone, with an opening at the bottom. All the delicious dishes come from this heaven, which adds an extra flavor to all the vibrant spices they use to cook.
I love every dish that comes out from that oven. The bread and the spreads disappear from the table five minutes after they arrive – that’s why you should order two right away. The spreads are yummy; my favorite is the spicy feta one.
As a starter, I love their Taboon chopped salad with sumac tahini dressing as well as the zucchini cakes with feta, lemon and sumac yogurt. My friends are obsessed with the Spanish octopus with Yukon gold confit potato salad, herbs, avocado, Kalamata olives and preserved lemon vinaigrette.
As a main course, their Mediterranean Sea bass freshly out of the oven is beyond delicious and if you are in the mood for red meat I highly advise you to try the Terra Cotta Lamb Kebabs. This is basically a Mediterranean pot pie, with Colorado ground lamb, charred onion, plum tomatoes, and pine nuts. It comes in a flatbread dome that you need to pierce to eat.
After all this food, you need to finish with a dessert. Their Date sponge cake and their Knaffe are the perfect way to finish this feast.
Taboon has it all, even a bar where you can eat if you can’t get a reservation. Although it very much is a neighborhood restaurant, it sure feels like one of the hip ones as finding a spot is always difficult.
When I plan to eat at Taboon, I make sure to collect food credits during the day (eat a very light lunch) so I can enjoy all my favorite dishes. Don’t forget, the Bon-Vivant Girl always encourages you to enjoy life and food to the fullest potential within reason…