New This Week: Naya


This is a big week in New York eating. The first New York Wine and Food Festival starts on Thursday, and there have been lots of high-profile restaurant openings lately, like Corton (from restaurateur Drew Nieporent and chef Paul Liebrandt) and A Q Cafe, the new spinoff from Marcus Samuelsson’s Scandinavia House spot.

This week, we’ve got Naya opening tomorrow night for dinner. The modern Lebanese food is by Chef Rafic Nehme, who comes straight from his own 25-year-old restaurant, Iyem Zaman, in Mount Lebanon. The owner, Hady Kfoury, has worked at Daniel, as well as several restaurants in his native Lebanon. The menu is heavy on the mezze, like hommus, baba ghannouj, pan-seared halloumi cheese, kibbe and Lebanese-style steak tartar. (Mezze $6-$10)

Mains run from beef shawarma to kafta kabob to striped bass topped with spicy tahini and walnuts. (Mains $17-27)

Sounds like this could be an interesting spot, but it’s in a tough location (1057 Second Avenue at 55th Street). Here’s hoping it doesn’t die the quick death of Savarona, the high-end Turkish spot (with very good food) that once sat in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge.