A Middle Eastern restaurant Sakib (349 Bedford Ave.) has opened in South Williamsburg at the former home of The Bagel Store.
The “viral rainbow bagel shop” formerly occupied the corner of S. 4th Street and Bedford Avenue until it was seized by the state last summer for back taxes.
Other dishes like msabaha, a hummus-like dip, offer a more authentic take on Middle Eastern food found in NYC with an emphasis on Syrian flavors.
A NY Times review of Sakib traces the owner Diaa Alhanoun’s journey to opening a business in Brooklyn after seeking refuge from Syria:
Diaa Alhanoun, the chef and an owner, makes the dough for the pies, or fatayer, himself. “Here, not too many people know about the pies,” he said, though different versions can be found throughout the city. Under Mr. Alhanoun’s care, they’re filled with lemony, spiced spinach, or brim with salty, fresh cheese. The leavened, olive oil-moistened dough is remarkably light and just sweet enough to be delicious on its own.
Mr. Alhanoun, 48, opened the restaurant with his business partner, Mohammad Ayasrah, 37, in July. Mr. Alhanoun, who is from Syria, has been cooking professionally since he was 15. In 2012, when the Syrian civil war was escalating, he was in Sudan opening a restaurant. It was not safe to return home, so Mr. Alhanoun moved to Jordan until he was accepted into the United States as a refugee with his wife and children.
The restaurant is open 11 a.m – 11 p.m seven days per week.