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First Look: Mount of Lebanon

Kheder Rabebeh gives what was once Lebanese Butcher & Restaurant a new name and bigger space.

The address isn’t all that’s new at Mount of Lebanon, formerly the Lebanese Butcher. There’s a bigger menu and juice bar.

Mount of Lebanon
2922 Annandale Rd., Falls Church; 703-241-2012

When Kheder Rababeh’s Lebanese Butcher & Restaurant was destroyed by fire last fall, the proud owner/butcher/cook vowed to return. Returned he has—with a bigger, better restaurant.

The new place, Mount of Lebanon, is just down the street from the old location, but the difference between the operations is striking. The open dining room is lined with lipstick-red walls and laid with red tablecloths. The menu has expanded to include cheeseburgers and steaks alongside such traditional Lebanese dishes as hummus, kibbeh, and tabbouleh.

If those all-American additions raise eyebrows about a conflicted mission, the scent of roasted garlic in the air ought to dispel any worries.

Starters are as bright and pungent as ever. Baba ghanoush is a marvelously smoky fluff, while the foul, a stew of long-cooked fava beans, chickpeas, onions, and garlic, is made more luxurious with a waiter’s generous drizzle of olive oil.

The heart of the menu remains the meats. Rababeh has always procured the highest-quality chickens and lambs—his own. Trucked in from his slaughterhouse in Warrenton, they form the foundation for such plates as the marvelous fatteh (in which hunks of stewed lamb are scattered atop crisp-fried pita chips and covered with thick pine nuts and dollops of tangy yogurt) and the shawarma (tender strips of assertively seasoned lamb, piled high alongside sumac-sprinkled onions and crunchy, salty pickles).

Rababeh’s yearlong absence was hard on him and his family—and on his fans, too. It’s good to see the area’s premier destination for Lebanese cooking up and running again.

Open daily 10 am to 11 pm. Starters $4.95 to $6.45, entrées $7.45 to $16.75. (The Lebanese Butcher market, open daily 9 to 9, is at 150 Hillwood Avenue, across the street from its former site.)

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