Bucks County Herald

Susan S. Yeske: Dining Out

Mediterranean comes to State Street in Doylestown

Dishes from the many countries that border the sea



Chicken, beef and kefta kabobs over rice is one Mediterranean specialty at the new restaurant.

Living in Doylestown for the past 20 years, Nabil Amri wondered why there were no Mediterranean restaurants in town.

“I was always thinking there is so much pizza, so much Italian food, and so many burgers,” he said. “Why no Mediterranean?”

Amri had worked in Italian restaurants for most of his career since emigrating from his native Tunisia, one of the many countries on the Mediterranean Sea. When he and his wife, Christina, were ready to open their own restaurant, they decided they wanted to feature something other than Italian cuisine.

Last week they opened Blu’ Mediterranean Grill on State Street in Doylestown, with a menu that features dishes from many of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea.

From Greece there is moussaka and spanakopita; from Tunisia shakshouka, a combination of onions, bell pepper, tomato, poached egg and a choice of lamb sausage or beef meatball. From France there is bouillabaisse, a mixed fish and seafood saffron stew; mussels and clams Provencal and steak frites. From Spain there is marinated, grilled octopus. Lamb, beef, salmon and chicken skewers over rice are a favorite across the Mediterranean region, along with homemade stuffed grape leaves and couscous with vegetables with a choice of lamb, beef, salmon, chicken, meatballs or kefta.

For those with more American tastes, there are short ribs with mashed potatoes, pan-seared salmon and roast chicken. Desserts include baklava, which will be made with different kinds of nuts and will change from day to day. Other desserts are rice pudding with pistachios and tiramisu.

For lunch, Blu’ lets customers design their own meal by choosing a base (pita, salad or rice), protein (gyro meat, kabob or falafel) and sauce (tzatziki, harissa aioli, tahini, basil pesto, roasted garlic mayo, red pepper spread or lemon with olive oil).

The restaurant’s chef is Anis Kharoubi, who trained in Tunisia before coming to the United States and opening his own Mediterranean-Italian restaurant in Chestnut Hill. Many of the recipes come from his family.

Kharoubi said the menu is designed to see what customers like, and as the weeks go by new dishes may be added and less popular ones taken away. He anticipates being able to offer gluten-free dishes in the future, and will accommodate dietary restrictions whenever possible.

Potential customers were showing interest in the new restaurant last week just before it opened, stopping by to check the menu. Those included theatergoers from the County Theater down the street, who get a bonus if they stop by for lunch or dinner. “If they bring their ticket stubs we will give a 10 percent discount,” said Christina Amri.

The Amris love their hometown and have already begun supporting local charities by donating gift certificates for fundraising events.

“We believe in supporting the town,” said Christina Amri.

BLU’ MEDITERRANEAN GRILL
54 E. State St., Doylestown
267-880-6880, Facebook

Hours:
11 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun.

Signature dishes:
Couscous with vegetables Mediterranean style with choice of protein, homemade stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, falafel.

susan.yeske@gmail.com

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