We dined at Pita Gourmet for the first time yesterday evening, and our first visit will not be our last. The restaurant is about an hour and a quarter from our home, but the food and service were so superb that I consider it a "destination" restaurant for us from now on. Lebanese versions of traditional Mediterranean cuisine are an intriguing change from the standard Greek fare most of us are used to. We were told that they also serve chicken curry every Wednesday, which is a top seller. The dining room is small and pleasantly decorated, with soft, indirect lighting. Every bit of food is made fresh, from genuine family recipes. We had the vegetarian platter, a Fattoush salad and an order of meat-stuffed grape leaves, plus iced tea and a dessert we had no business ordering, given how stuffed we were. The mixed vegetarian platter combines falafel and salad topped with tomatoes and yummy tahini with three small helpings of hummous, baba ganush and tabouleh--party in the mouth! The salad was interestingly spicy, and my husband devoured the grape leaves in record time. The food was accompanied by a basket of pita triangles, so I had fun making little pita roll-ups of various items from my vegetarian platter--easy to share with dining companions that way, too. Not to be missed is the iced tea, made in house and enhanced with seven spices; I could identify mint, cardamom, cinnamon and a touch of nutmeg, I think; then I gave up trying. We were talked into ordering the rice pudding, and I am SO glad we decided to. It is made fresh every day in house--creamy goodness topped with cinnamon and sugar--unquestionably the best we have ever tasted. Look at the menu online and notice all those red hearts denoting heart-healthy choices, a point of pride with the proprietor, who told us Pita Gourmet offers more heart-healthy choices than any other restaurant in Central New York. So if you are anywhere in the region, stop reading, get in your car and head for Pita Gourmet!
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