Fuad Alnirabie’s big, beautiful space with colourful, modern decor to match the vibrant Syrian food, is more popular than ever. There are even plans for the team to open a casual counter-service location nearby, as well as a larger downtown iteration. But a perk of the current location is its terrace, where one can spend leisurely summer evenings noshing on dishes that are perfect for hot temperatures, like fattoush and baba ghannouj. While many people love Damas for its braised meat dishes, vegetarians will also be delighted with its array of vegetable-centric mezze, like the muhammara (made with red pepper and pomegranate molasses) or beet mutabbal (a colourful purée mixed with tahini). Whichever route you choose to go, expect fresh produce, plenty of lemon and parsley, an occasional spritz of rose or orange blossom water, and nourishing, flavourful grains. The wine list emphasizes regions around the Mediterranean, and there is a concise set of Middle Eastern-leaning cocktails, containing everything from sumac to pomegranate.
Photos: MICHAEL VESIA