Glass falls in love with Middle Eastern flavours at DEZ, New York

A GEORGOUS-looking, fast-casual restaurant has just opened in the form of DEZ. The cute all-day cafe spot, which specialises in Middle Eastern dishes, has been causing quite a stir since popping up in Nolita a few weeks back. It’s like we were all just waiting for somewhere that would offer superior mezes and the softest baked flatbread, in a chic grab-and-go environment.

The funky dining room at DEZThe funky dining room at DEZ

Chef Eden Grinshpan, a charming talent with Canadian-Israeli roots, helms the kitchen, and the menu she has prepared shows off her excellent interpretations of classic dishes. On our visit we organised our meal around three mezes. The fire roasted eggplant offered the smokiest of fragrances, which was cut through with pomeganate. Harissa and honey roasted carrots maintained a nice crunchiness and were complemented by sweet labaneh. The star, though, was the roasted cardamom beets that were cubed and placed on top of smooth beet hummus and pine nuts. This was a truly standout dish that offered a terrific balance of textures.

The gorgeous dishes at DEZThe gorgeous dishes at DEZ

The vibrant and refreshing salads are also a good bet. We had the seeds and veg, which featured feta and cucumber, and a light lemon and olive oil dressing. It was perfect for a blindingly hot day and also proved to be an excellent side for the harissa curry shakshuka we ordered, which provided a spicy kick. It was nice to see this classic egg dish brightened up with a tanginess that felt unique.

A bowl of Roasted Cardamom BeetsA bowl of Roasted Cardamom Beets

Though DEZ is a fast-casual dining space, it’s certainly a beautiful room in which to spend some time. The restaurant is a collaboration between Chef Grinshpan and Samantha Wasser, who founded the game-changing, plant-based cafe By Chloe, and it relies on that same warm, fun aesthetic with which By Chloe, has come to be recognised. Wasser worked with Jeanette Didon of byBlack on the interiors and the result is a relaxed desert vibe, with lots of soft beiges and colourful woven designs. So if you have time, do pull up a chair, order a bunch of mezes, and you’ll feel pretty good.

by Derby Jones

All images courtesy of DEZ

DEZ, 227 Mulberry Street, New York, NY 10012

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