Tucked into the first two floors of a 170-year-old building is a restaurant with a name that banks more history than its exposed wood beams. At 10,000 years old, Byblos, Lebanon, is the world’s oldest still-inhabited city. Chef Stuart Cameron poured through enough books to fill an ancient library while figuring out Byblos’ menu. The resulting food travels to just about every nation the Ottomans ever conquered (including Lebanon), borrowing flavors and techniques from across the region. Start in Turkey with some pide; the wood-fired Turkish flatbread come in a half-dozen variations, including a halloumi-truffle option, which is intended to be shared, though often bogarted. Then, over to Egypt for dukkah-rubbed lamb ribs with a side of crispy Israeli artichokes accompanied by a preserved lemon–labneh dipping sauce. Dinner is best finished in Greece with loukoumades. The Greco doughnuts come with burnt honey ice cream—the perfect balance of sweet, rich cream with just a hint of ashy finish to punctuate the end of perfect meal. Note: Byblos opened a second location Uptown in late 2018 (2537 Yonge St.; tel 416/487-4897).
Subway: St. Andrew, then walk W on King, turn R on Duncan St.Phone 647/660-0909 Prices Small plates $17–$19; large sharing plates $17–$75 Cuisine Type Middle Eastern Web site Byblos
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