Somerville isn’t too far from our house, and we’ve found a lot of great restaurants there off Main Street:  Tapastre, Il Pomodora, and Origin Thai.  This time, we decided to stick to Main Street and check out a Lebanese restaurant.

Cedars Authentic Lebanese Cuisine is by far one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in awhile. J’s step mom is Lebanese, so he certainly knows what authentic Lebanese food tastes like.  Any time you’re used to the real deal, going to a restaurant that promises “authentic cuisine” is always touch and go.  Cedars definitely met our expectations.

We started out with Falafel, which I actually had never had before.  It was excellent.  Also, because we both ordered meat entrees, they brought out three small bowls with hummus, baba ghannouge, and tabouleh along with large soft pitas.  J makes his own hummus, so we’ve got standards on that too….this one was a great mix of flavor!

As an entree, I had the Kafta Kabobs with couscous.  I have seriously never had such a flavorful meat dish.  The kabobs were juicy, soft and full of flavor, while the couscous paired nicely with onions and tomatoes and some of the other flavors on the plate.  The portion size was large, even for me, and I’m definitely looking forward to eating it again tomorrow!  J had Chicken Shawarma, another excellently marinated choice.

We’re big on dessert and after dinner drinks, as most of you know!  I had the Lebanese mint tea, which was very well flavored with mint (unlike other teas I’ve had that have promised a mint flavor) and J had Lebanese coffee.  For dessert, I had some sort of cake topped with shredded phylo dough and rose water that was good, but just a little too sweet, even for me.  J had Meghly, a cinnamon pudding topped with pine nuts and walnuts, that was also a little too heavily flavored with cinnamon.

All in all, I’m pretty much in love with this place.  I’m looking forward to going back and trying everything on the menu!  It’s BYOB, and the atmosphere is very familial.  The owner was going from table to table, sitting and chatting with different people who were obviously regulars.  The service was also excellent for a small restaurant, with the proper amount of attention given with a decent time between courses.

Our rating:

J:  8/10

V:  9/10

Cedars Authentic Lebanese Cuisine
45 W Main St.
Somerville, NJ 08876
908-722-8686

P.S. No reservations needed for this place!  We went around 6/7 p.m. on a Friday and the crowd never got to be too much.  Also a great take-out option!

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