There’s no shortage of great Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants in Lake Hiawatha, an unincorporated community located within Parsippany-Troy Hills. In the span of a few blocks of North Beverwyck Road (the town’s main street), you’ll find excellent Turkish food at Bosphorus Restaurant, Afghan-style halal meats that attract a crowd at Kabab Paradise, and now, a medley of flavors at the new Pasha Mezze Grill.
Opened late last year, Pasha is housed in the restaurant space that was formerly home to Fazzolare’s Italian Bistro. Located on a corner, the BYO restaurant features large windows along two of the walls, with a light touch on decorations, making the space feel bright and airy.
The menu features dishes from all over the Mediterranean, representing Greece, Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, Italy and Cyprus. To start, the mezze selection includes 10 cold options (hummus, tzatziki, labneh, etc.) and 11 warm options (grilled octopus, falafel, borek, etc.). We started with stuffed grape leaves and an incredibly rich and smoky, complex and creamy babagannoush ($7), which we scooped up with small rounds of pita that came warm in a basket. Next, we broke into the deep-fried balls of bulgar, minced lamb and pine nuts called kibbeh ($12) served atop a smear of fresh yogurt.
Entrées were large and filling, leaving plenty for lunch the next day. I ordered the lamb skewer ($18), cooked to a perfect medium and served with rice pilaf and a fresh herb salad. My only complaint was that it seemed like a small portion of lamb for what it cost; down the street, you get at least three skewers for the same price.
My dining companion opted for an 8-ounce skirt steak ($23), which we both enjoyed. It came with a bright and spicy chimichurri, mashed potatoes and roasted carrots that were the surprise hit of the night. Other entrée choices include adana kebabs, kefteh, a burger, branzino and whole trout.
We were too stuffed for dessert, but we’ll be back again soon. I had originally been worried that a restaurant serving similar dishes as the town’s most popular spots wouldn’t last long, but for once, I’m happy to report I was wrong.
Pasha Mezze Grill, 94 North Beverwyck Road, Lake Hiawatha; 973-265-4982; BYO. Open daily; brunch served on weekends.Click here to leave a comment