Photos: Tarboosh, a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant, opens in Aurora
Late last week, on Friday, so many people showed up to the opening of Tarboosh, a new Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurant in an Aurora strip mall, that the kitchen ran out of food by 5:30 p.m. Yesterday, however, when I stopped in for lunch, the quarters were relatively quiet, save for a smattering of tables, inside and out, feasting on hummus and kabobs.
The festive restaurant, embellished with replicate Tiffany light fixtures, rattan chairs and granite tables, red banquettes striped with primary colors, shelves brimming with hookahs and tarbooshes -- the tasseled, candy-red felt caps for which the restaurant is named -- and teapots, is owned by Zaki Jalfi and his wife Hanan Saccar, the two of whom are fervent foodophiles. "My family has restaurants in Lebanon, I have a bakery and a shawarma place in Poland, and I love to cook, make good food and have people eat great food," says Jalfi.
Within the next week, hopes Jalfi, whose menu boasts everything from grilled kabobs to grape leaves, the open kitchen, which harbors a gas-fired, brick-domed oven, will begin spitting out rotisserie chickens, which could be the star of the menu. "Right now, we don't have a big staff, so we need to hire someone to work the oven," says Jalfi, who will also start baking his own pita in house, once he finds someone who can master the heat.
In the meantime, the food, which is good, albeit a bit too generous with the olive oil, is all made in house, and while there's no liquor license (and no plans to get one), the minted tea and Turkish coffee, served on gold platters, and laban ayran, a Turkish drink with yogurt and a dash of salt, are noteworthy.
Here's a first look at the space and the eats.
Continue reading for more photos.