July 14, 2024
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Mediterranea: An Israeli Oasis on West Englewood Avenue

Teaneck—Bright green basil and dark red sun-dried tomatoes perfectly complement small-batch hummus made under an hour ago. The same cool hummus, served under hot ground beef, makes for a classic Syrian appetizer bowl that is comforting and pleasing to the palate. French shawarma, served with a creamy garlic coating over the meat, is unique, delicious and already a top seller, as is its more traditional Moroccan or Israeli shawarma, with classic accompaniments. Falafel balls, crisp and spicy inside fresh pita, are pareve and perfect for vegetarians. All of this is served along with a trip to the dips, toppings and cold salads bar, such as coleslaw and cucumber salad.

Mediterranea, a 25-seat restaurant, is the newest addition to the West Englewood Avenue kosher landscape. It is billed as a shawarma and hummus bar that seeks to bring a fresh, made-from-scratch taste of modern Israel to the community. The restaurant had its soft opening two weeks ago and is ready now to welcome everyone to try its delicious, fresh fare. “We want to create a new vibe in Teaneck. Fresh food, everything made within the last hour, in a modern, clean environment,” said Steven Dimenstein, 24, owner of Mediterranea with his brother Daniel, 20. While they both are young, they are not without restaurant experience. Steven has approximately eight years of experience working in local kosher establishments, including Kosher Experience, Chopstix, Teaneck Kosher and Grand & Essex. He noted that many of the classic sephardic flavors highlighted on the restaurant’s menu are inspired by his Syrian grandmother’s kitchen. “I grew up eating these delicious foods, many of which I can’t even pronounce,” he recalled. Steven graduated five years ago from Torah Academy of Bergen County and is currently taking a semester off before finishing his degree in economics at Yeshiva University.

The restaurant has six regular employees, including Edward, the former chef of Veggie Bistro & Cafe, and eight on Motzei Shabbos and Sunday, to properly serve the larger crowd. Expected on the way next month is a Coke Freestyle machine, which allows for restaurant patrons to choose their own unique flavor of soda using an app (which will also remember your favorites for next time). This is sure to be a treat for all the soda lovers among us.

Under kosher supervision of the Rabbinical Council of Bergen County, Mediterreanea is located at 182 West Englewood Avenue in Teaneck. Visit the restaurant on the web at www.teaneckmediterranea.com or call 201-530-7391.

By Elizabeth Kratz

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