Located in Kimbark Plaza, Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen is known for its fresh, aromatic cuisine as well as its kebobs and steaks, which are broiled at 1500°F. If you are looking for traditional and hearty Mediterranean fare, this is the place to go.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is inviting and cozy with a similarly warm wait staff. Before you order your entrees, you’re given a basket of warm pita bread to whet your appetite. It only gets better from there. From the many times I have been at Cedars, I’ve found its dishes consistent, flavorful and satisfying. Though their falafel, baba ghanoush, grilled shrimp skewers and shish kebobs are on point, there are 3 dishes that make me want to come back again and again.
Ripe Tomato Cous Cous:
Made with imported cous cous and traditional Mediterranean spices, this dish is the definition of hearty comfort food. The cous cous is cooked with ripe tomatoes, chickpeas and onions until it resembles a stew and the cous cous still has a slight chewy texture. You can have it with lamb or chicken, and I will warn you now: the portions are enormous.
Pomegranate-Braised Short Ribs:
Of all the tender meats Cedars serves, this has to be my favorite. The short ribs are braised over low heat for a long period of time, allowing the meat to tenderize and absorb the pomegranate sugar glaze. Like all of Cedars’ entrees, this dish is served with your choice of soup or salad (I recommend the lentil soup) as well as grilled veggies and a choice of rice, potatoes, fries or more veggies. I don’t have a preference for any specific side; all of them are delicious and made to order! Again, the portions are very generous, so save room!
Chicken Tika Tandoori:
This dish consists of a chargrilled chicken breast and thigh that is marinated in tandoori masala spices. The meat, though very lean, is packed with flavor; it is smoky and slightly spicy. I had this along with the pomegranate-braised short ribs in Cedars’ braised ribs & chicken combo platter, which was a wonderful harmony of sweet, savory and spicy. In all, if you’re looking for a quality dinner spot Saturday night that doesn’t involve driving all the way downtown, Cedars is a fantastic choice.
Hours of operation: Sun – Thurs 11:30 am – 10 pm Fri – Sat 11:30 am – 11 pm
Address: 1206 E. 53rd Street, Chicago, IL 60615