If the idea of dining in close quarters makes your eye twitch, you may find it difficult to appreciate Grape Leaves' compact dining room. Only about ten tables fill the space, while dangling grapevines, miniature artifacts and a large mural engulf the walls and ceiling. It's an exercise in strategic clutter; you feel like a guest in a crowded household.
Luckily, the proprietors advocate superb hospitality. Attentive servers acknowledge you upon entry and deliver your food within minutes of ordering. This goes for light fare, such as the hummus appetizer or eggplant sandwich, as well as the more substantial chicken shawarma and shish kabob entrees. They prepare all dishes on-the-spot and use fresh ingredients for maximum flavor.
You'll get over feeling claustrophobic once you see Grape Leaves' mammoth portions and inexpensive prices. A meal for one generally serves at least two, and averages about $8. And if you still can't bear rubbing elbows while eating, you can take food to go and enjoy a mouthful of Mediterranean fare at home.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jenny Seay