"We weren't planning to open, really," said Nabil Al-Saba, politely fidgeting behind the counter at Zäd Modern Mediterranean as he and wife Lynley Gumaer greet Eater's unexpected arrival. He added: "Working with all new staff made me change my mind. It's not that we're rookies. [The couple has operated The Grape Leaf for 20 years.] I just want to make everything right. The kitchen's not what I'm used to." Nevertheless, Zäd's first day was on. "It's actually counter service," a worker told some initial patrons looking for a server, adding: "It's our first day." (Zäd also offers curbside service.) Gumaer said the couple sees Zäd as "a chance to do something different," citing the menu's chia-coated falafel, cilantro hummus and a lamb pita Al-Saba "is in love with," along with a chance to show some of her artwork on the white walls. As the first patrons leave, they tell Eater that their meal "was fantastic." More patrons arrive and, again inquire about a server. "It's been 20 years since we've opened a restaurant," says Gumaer. "Opening, you never feel that you're ready. Sometimes you just have to rip the band-aid off."
· Zäd Modern Mediterranean [Official Site]
· The Grape Leaf
· All Eater Zäd Modern Mediterranean Coverage [~ELOU~]