Saturday, June 8, 2013
Aladdin restaurant in New Hope a winner
By Charlie Sahner
I’ll say it from the get-go: I’m impressed by this place.
The fare ranges far beyond Middle Eastern in derivation. Yes, the obligatory kabobs and falafel abound, but this is Mediterranean fusion with a decidedly Egyptian bent and pronounced Moroccan, Israeli, Greek and Italian influences.
The decor is authentic, expensive and well chosen.
The owner Barry is maniacally fastidious. One night last week he yelled at me when I tried to take his arm, “Don’t touch, don’t touch, I’m cooking tonight.” The place is spotless — they don’t pour oil or ghee over every item, and they swap out fava beans for chickpeas on the falafal…all of which means one can completely gorge oneself and not feel bloated or queasy afterwords.
The food tasted fresh, and used in simple combinations felt, well, healthy. This spot will be a blessing for vegetarians, and while not cheap, a $15 platter will feed two, so the value is there.
What’s good? Stordallia, a homemade mashed potato salad with fresh garlic, olive oil and parsley; hummus, smooth and balanced; smokey and subtle babaganoush; crisp, fresh-tasting tabbouli salad; sweetly spiced kofta; a lovely bechamel macaroni; and the oven-baked tagines (mine was made with shrimp and expertly seasoned). For dessert, I’ll be coming back for the rice pudding.
The snapshot of Alladin? Moderately priced, big portions, healthy food, good service, welcome variety. Worth a try.
Aladdin is located at 82 S. Main St. in beautiful downtown New Hope; (215) 862-1110.