The hubster and I rarely get to have dates, but on a recent one we visited a Syrian restaurant called The Shish Cafe (here in the Madison area). It was a Friday night, hopping, and we were glad we had reservations. They were short one waiter and our poor waitress was run off her feet, but the owner/chef and the waitress were very gracious in spite of that.
We started off with baba ghanouj, hummus, tabouleh (all three the best I've ever had!), and warm pita to scoop it all up. Stephen ordered the "lamb fasoulieh" (lamb and green bean stew), and I had the "lamb borek" (small savoury pies with ground lamb, toasted pine nuts, parsley, onions, and garlic). Both fabulous choices, but we both ended up oohing and ahhing the most over Stephen's stew.
I had to find out how to make it!
The fasoulia khadra recipe I found and made yesterday came very close and we do recommend it. Even if you can't get to The Shish Cafe, at least you can do this yourself at home and ooh and ahh with your family at your own dinner table. I served it with couscous (I make mine with chicken bouillon and olive oil), paprika, toasted slivered almonds, and some parsley on top like they did at the restaurant. I made the stew in the crock pot and the lamb was extremely tender.
The whole thing is so more-ish I might have to have some leftovers as a midnight snack tonight. Mmmmmmmmm...