Like the Arabic word for princess for which it's named, this royally remodeled dining palace reigns at street level in the NBC Tower. Bathed in warm, amber light, with a marble bar dominating the room, the space is adorned with Mediterranean murals and etched stone on the walls and ceiling. Topped off with potted palms and terra cotta tile, it feels like stepping into the black-and-white world of Rick's Place in the classic "Casablanca."
Relax with an Amira martini, an exotic blend of vanilla vodka and orange, pomegranate and date juices, or select one of the wines from the international wine list, available by the glass or bottle. Drinks range in price from $6.50-$12.
Chef Jeremy Keins' creative menu whets your appetite with starters such as the Mezze plate, composed of tabouli, baba ganoush and humus on warm pita points, or the crispy polenta, pan-seared with a ragout of crimini mushrooms and parmesan cheese cream. However, for my money, the magnificent risotto with roasted butternut squash, asparagus, oven-dried tomatoes and sage and topped with shallot creme fraiche can stand alone as a meal in and of itself.
Lunch and dinner entrees come in ample portions and run the gamut from Italian brick oven pizzas to sandwiches served with zucchini fries and a roasted baby beet, candied walnut and bleu cheese-topped salad. Seafood and meat-lovers may choose from rich options like grilled swordfish, lobster ravioli or pork porterhouse, or go all out for the signature top-sliced sirloin served over pancetta and lightly bathed in a green peppercorn cream. Appetizers hover around $8, and entrees range between $5.95 and $26. 95.
Reviewed By: Colin Douglas