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Semiramis Lebanese Cuisine [Pictures]

Semiramis Lebanese Cuisine [Pictures]
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  • Post #121 - March 6th, 2008, 10:02 am
    Post #121 - March 6th, 2008, 10:02 am Post #121 - March 6th, 2008, 10:02 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:...It all looks and sounds delicious, especially that gorgeous chicken.


    I've been eating at Semiramis with regularity since they first opened. I do very much enjoy that gorgeous chicken.

    But no one is more surprised than me to find that my favorite item they serve, out of all those delightful photos above, is the fattoush salad (with chicken shwarema added). It's bright and fresh and flavorful and it's one of my favorite healthy lunches around.

    I find myself thinking about that salad more often than anything else I've eaten there.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #122 - March 6th, 2008, 10:18 am
    Post #122 - March 6th, 2008, 10:18 am Post #122 - March 6th, 2008, 10:18 am
    eatchicago wrote:I find myself thinking about that salad more often than anything else I've eaten there.


    I agree, the fattoush is very good and I will make a note to get some chicken shawarma added next time I order. For me, the most memorable dish at Semiramis, and one we did not order the other day due to the nature of group dining, is the special falafel sandwich. I'm addicted to the crunchy pickle and turnip added to the sandwich. When I go to Semiramis by myself, it's my go to order.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #123 - March 6th, 2008, 10:19 am
    Post #123 - March 6th, 2008, 10:19 am Post #123 - March 6th, 2008, 10:19 am
    The one time I ate there, that is what I ordered Michael--and the only thing that would keep me from ordering it again would be a desire to try the rest of the menu. But I could always sneak bites off everyone else's plates I guess. :) I really did love that dish.
    Ronnie said I should probably tell you guys about my website so

    Hey I have a website.
    http://www.sandwichtribunal.com
  • Post #124 - August 17th, 2008, 9:26 am
    Post #124 - August 17th, 2008, 9:26 am Post #124 - August 17th, 2008, 9:26 am
    We dined at Semiramis last night. A first time for everyone in our party of six. Thank you again LTH for saving me from a trip to the likes of Rezas or Cousins. I was happy to have an alternative to suggest when our vegatarian friends suggested mediteranean food last night.

    I was suprised with how crowded Semiramis was. My wife had the forsight to make a reservation. When she spoke to the owner she mentioned that we planned on coming unanounced at 8pm. He gave us an 8:30 reservation and informed us that they are typically very busy Saturday nights and they were booked full at 8. Ordinarily I do not go out on Sat night without a reservation but I got the sense from some other postings on this thread that either they werent very busy or that reservations simply werent necessary at Semiramis. I am pleased to say that I was wrong.

    We had an absolutely delightful meal. We shared a wide variety of most of the appetizers. My wife declared the hummos to be the best she had ever had in Chicago. I agreed that it was very good. I wanted to take a minute to mention the stuffed grape leaves. I do not typically love dolmes and usually would not order them as I find that a lot of places make a very bland rendition. These were outstanding. I am not sure what it was I tasted in the grape leaves that gave it a pickley kind of pop, but it was a delicious version and one I would order again.

    The fries were also outstanding. I could eat the garlic spread on anything and if we were alone probably would have licked out the ramekin. The falafel were also very very good.

    I was absolutely stuffed by the time i ordered my dinner so I opted for the special chicken schwarma with extra harissa. I was a little suprised that they only offered one special on Sat night. I got the impression that they offered a bunch of really good and interesting specials dparting from standard kabob entrees that one typically finds at lebanese style middle eastern restaurants and I was excited by this. The schwarma was a good, not great sandwich. I also tried the beef and lamb schwarma ordered by another of my party. With regard to the schwarma, I have to say that I am really digging the schwarma that I have been eating lately at Mizrahi Grill, I like the fluffier Isreali pita, enjoy the combination of lamb and turkey and find the "condiments" to be better and more interesting at Mizrahi then I do Semiramis. That being said I liked what I had, would order differently next time (maybe they wont be out of chicken which would have been my first choiced based on raves here) and am very happy to have Mizrahi Grill so close by when I need a schwarma fix.

    Overall, Semiramis was fabulous. Great room, nice people and delicioous food. We ordered an absolute pigs feast worth of food and the total bill came to $101.56 for our party of six including tax and tip. I consider this to be one of the outstanding food values that I have ever experienced. I felt cheap walking out of there having only spent $35 for our portion of the bill. I will definitely return to Semiramis again. Thank you to those culinary explorers who have done their due dilligence so that I can look cool to my friends when I turn them on to gems like Semiramis.
  • Post #125 - October 11th, 2008, 10:44 am
    Post #125 - October 11th, 2008, 10:44 am Post #125 - October 11th, 2008, 10:44 am
    Went with a group of 4 to Semiramis last night (Fri). We had a lovely server (and others also checked in on us) who helped us pick which things we ordered. We started with the fries while we decided what to order - hot and tasty. The garlic sauce made them for me, as otherwise I think they were pretty standard food service steak fries under the sumac. The fact that they came out immediately upon exiting the oil (as far as we could tell) is a big plus.

    We got (and shared) the lentil, rice and caramelized onion dish, beef and lamb kefta (the chopped kebobs), whole roast chicken, fattoush salad. I think we could have done with a 1/2 chicken. Each dish (except fattoush) came with either salad or rice, we got 2 salad and one rice.

    My favorite was the fattoush and the lentil/rice dish. I thought the chicken was tasty, but a bit dry, same with the beef and lamb, but I could have eaten all of the 2 veggie dishes myself!

    We arrived at 8 and were seated within 15 mins or so. Not a long wait at all. It was crowded, but not packed. There were more empty tables, I guess they could have seated us a bit sooner, but they might have been trying to space it out a bit. That was fine, we opened our wine in the little lounge area and had a glass and talked. A 4-top came in after us and were told it would be 20-40 mins, but I don't think it was that long for them.

    I thought the atmosphere was fine. It wasn't spartan, an impression I got from reading earlier in the thread. The only service goof was that we got someone else's check. The owner (manager?) brought it over. It was a bit confusing because we were nearly ready to go, but our server hadn't asked us about coffee or dessert. We just figured they really needed the table, but the server cleared up the misunderstanding and got the check to the right people. It was kind of funny.

    Our final bill for 4 people with tip, tax and corkage came to around $70. And we have leftovers!
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #126 - June 8th, 2009, 9:00 am
    Post #126 - June 8th, 2009, 9:00 am Post #126 - June 8th, 2009, 9:00 am
    Since there hasn't been a post in a while, just a quick update on a great lunch Saturday afternoon. It was nice to see the place packed when we arrived at 1:30pm (we got the only open table). Even though they were slammed, the service was very friendly. We really enjoyed an order of kibbe for an appetizer and a chicken chwarma special and a falafil special.
  • Post #127 - January 12th, 2010, 10:10 am
    Post #127 - January 12th, 2010, 10:10 am Post #127 - January 12th, 2010, 10:10 am
    The Small Household Food Exchange had its monthly gathering at Semiramis last night. We ordered a whole bunch of stuff to share:

    * Fattoush
    * Kibbe special (three kinds)
    * Vegetarian platter (Hummus, baba ghannouj, tabbouleh, falafel and dolmas)
    * Falafel
    * Lentils and Rice with Carmelized Onions and House Salad
    * Mixed Grill (Beef and chicken kabob, lamb and beef kafta, with rice and grilled vegetables)
    * Roast chicken

    There was not a bad dish in the bunch. Our only minor quibble was that our plates were too small, so overcrowding was a problem. :wink: It was an excellent, inexpensive meal and reminded me that I really need to get down to Kedzie and Semiramis more often. They had a nice crowd for a Monday night as well.
    -Mary
  • Post #128 - January 12th, 2010, 12:11 pm
    Post #128 - January 12th, 2010, 12:11 pm Post #128 - January 12th, 2010, 12:11 pm
    How was the roast chicken? I had it for the first time about a week ago and found it to be pretty dry and overcooked, though I've heard rave reviews about it in the past. I chalked it up to bad luck and would be curious to hear another data point.

    -Dan
  • Post #129 - January 12th, 2010, 2:46 pm
    Post #129 - January 12th, 2010, 2:46 pm Post #129 - January 12th, 2010, 2:46 pm
    dansch wrote:How was the roast chicken? I had it for the first time about a week ago and found it to be pretty dry and overcooked, though I've heard rave reviews about it in the past. I chalked it up to bad luck and would be curious to hear another data point.

    Dan-

    I had such a small bite of the chicken that I'm not sure if I can give a true assessment. I took one of the legs and some of the meat was dry. When I was cutting up part of the breast for others to enjoy, it seemed moist; however I didn't actually eat it. I'm hoping others at the table who had more of the chicken will reply.
    -Mary
  • Post #130 - January 12th, 2010, 2:49 pm
    Post #130 - January 12th, 2010, 2:49 pm Post #130 - January 12th, 2010, 2:49 pm
    I've had well-cooked, moist chicken at Semiramis, and I've had overcooked, dry chicken at Semiramis. Probably 10 chickens total, with an even 5 and 5 split.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #131 - January 12th, 2010, 2:59 pm
    Post #131 - January 12th, 2010, 2:59 pm Post #131 - January 12th, 2010, 2:59 pm
    I have never had moist chicken there, including last night :)
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #132 - January 12th, 2010, 3:31 pm
    Post #132 - January 12th, 2010, 3:31 pm Post #132 - January 12th, 2010, 3:31 pm
    We don't get the roast chicken often, but it has always been good and moist, both dine in and take out. We pretty much always get the mixed grill. Can't go wrong with that, if one of the meats is a little off (and I do mean a little, we always finish every bite of food from there), there are two others. :)
  • Post #133 - January 12th, 2010, 3:45 pm
    Post #133 - January 12th, 2010, 3:45 pm Post #133 - January 12th, 2010, 3:45 pm
    I was there last night and commented that the chicken was flavorful, but a bit on the dry side.
  • Post #134 - March 11th, 2010, 6:58 am
    Post #134 - March 11th, 2010, 6:58 am Post #134 - March 11th, 2010, 6:58 am
    Today's Groupon: $15 for $35 worth of food:
    http://www.groupon.com/deals/semiramis- ... @gmail.com
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #135 - March 11th, 2010, 5:27 pm
    Post #135 - March 11th, 2010, 5:27 pm Post #135 - March 11th, 2010, 5:27 pm
    Oh, how I hope that the Groupon is not an occurence of dire portent...
    "Barbecue sauce is like a beautiful woman. If it’s too sweet, it’s bound to be hiding something."
    — Lyle Lovett


    "How do you say 'Yum-o' in Swedish? Or is it Swiss? What do they speak in Switzerland?"- Rachel Ray
  • Post #136 - March 11th, 2010, 6:10 pm
    Post #136 - March 11th, 2010, 6:10 pm Post #136 - March 11th, 2010, 6:10 pm
    I dunno, but they better not close before 9/12 cuz I bought one.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #137 - March 11th, 2010, 9:47 pm
    Post #137 - March 11th, 2010, 9:47 pm Post #137 - March 11th, 2010, 9:47 pm
    Pie Lady wrote:I dunno, but they better not close before 9/12 cuz I bought one.


    Ditto.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #138 - March 12th, 2010, 10:21 am
    Post #138 - March 12th, 2010, 10:21 am Post #138 - March 12th, 2010, 10:21 am
    mchodera wrote:Oh, how I hope that the Groupon is not an occurence of dire portent...


    Yeah, I don't get this: the restaurant is constantly packed; I've had some significant waits here. But what else could it be?
  • Post #139 - March 12th, 2010, 10:27 am
    Post #139 - March 12th, 2010, 10:27 am Post #139 - March 12th, 2010, 10:27 am
    Maybe they're just being nice.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #140 - March 12th, 2010, 11:12 am
    Post #140 - March 12th, 2010, 11:12 am Post #140 - March 12th, 2010, 11:12 am
    I think we're being a bit doomsday here people--lots of restaurants do Groupon who don't seem in any danger of closing (Naha!!) because it's good publicity and it brings in a lot of new patrons who may never have tried your spot which sounds like good business to me--not that the sky is falling. Our Food Exchange group went to Semiramis on a MONDAY in JANUARY and their were plenty of people in the restaurant (and others were picking up). But if you're worried, by almost means go--I'm sure they'd be happy to see you no matter what the reason :lol:
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #141 - March 12th, 2010, 11:30 am
    Post #141 - March 12th, 2010, 11:30 am Post #141 - March 12th, 2010, 11:30 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:I think we're being a bit doomsday here people--

    NO Kidding!!

    I mean, what the hell, is LTHforum starting to spin so negative that a simple advertising ploy is cause for swirling the toilet bowl alerts? Any number of busy successful restaurants have used Groupon, including always popular GNR winner Manny's.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #142 - March 12th, 2010, 11:32 am
    Post #142 - March 12th, 2010, 11:32 am Post #142 - March 12th, 2010, 11:32 am
    Wait, Gary, are you saying that Manny's is closing?! :)
  • Post #143 - March 12th, 2010, 11:33 am
    Post #143 - March 12th, 2010, 11:33 am Post #143 - March 12th, 2010, 11:33 am
    As I've said before, there is a 1 year waiting list (at least as of a couple of months ago) to be featured as a Groupon. I highly doubt that all of those businesses are on the verge of failing.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #144 - March 12th, 2010, 10:21 pm
    Post #144 - March 12th, 2010, 10:21 pm Post #144 - March 12th, 2010, 10:21 pm
    Actually, i wouldn't be surprised at all to hear that Groupon vets their participants pretty carefully--the last thing they need is to be refunding GC's for places that closed (which by my understanding of their "no questions asked" customer service policy, they might actually do)...they certainly wouldn't have much to gain by frequently featuring spots that were financially unsound.
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #145 - March 13th, 2010, 6:50 pm
    Post #145 - March 13th, 2010, 6:50 pm Post #145 - March 13th, 2010, 6:50 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:...they certainly wouldn't have much to gain by frequently featuring spots that were financially unsound.


    I don't think it's a question of fiscal solvency so much as underlying purpose. I mean, why would a restaurant filling seats at all times offer its product, which people are more than willing to pay full price for, at a discounted rate? It's curious, is all.
  • Post #146 - March 13th, 2010, 7:02 pm
    Post #146 - March 13th, 2010, 7:02 pm Post #146 - March 13th, 2010, 7:02 pm
    With Groupon, you get a chunk of change upfront & marketing that puts you in front of new potential customers.

    There are plenty of places I intend to try & don't get around to doing so. There're also places I love but just don't get back. Like a la card, Groupon gives folks a chance to try new places & revisit old ones. Interestingly, I was trying to arrange dinner to break the fast with a friend tomorrow near River North. In my quest to go to more GNR's in 2010 I suggested Coalfire. Based on location, she countered with Veerasway because she had a Groupon that expired soon. There you have it. If we go to Veerasway and have a good experience they just found 2 new customers courtesy of their marketing on Groupon.

    That's why any business may want to use Groupon.
    Ava-"If you get down and out, just get in the kitchen and bake a cake."- Jean Strickland

    Horto In Urbs- Falling in love with Urban Vegetable Gardening
  • Post #147 - March 13th, 2010, 7:05 pm
    Post #147 - March 13th, 2010, 7:05 pm Post #147 - March 13th, 2010, 7:05 pm
    chezbrad wrote:
    boudreaulicious wrote:...they certainly wouldn't have much to gain by frequently featuring spots that were financially unsound.


    I don't think it's a question of fiscal solvency so much as underlying purpose. I mean, why would a restaurant filling seats at all times offer its product, which people are more than willing to pay full price for, at a discounted rate? It's curious, is all.

    As a business owner, you always have to work to add customers, even if you're full all or most of the time. This is because you will always lose customers for a variety of reasons, many of which are entirely beyond your control. In other words, you can do everything right and still lose business. One way to guard against this is to use a variety of conduits to engage new customers -- Groupon being just one example. It's merely one way to reach prospective customers who might not already know about you. If they like you, they'll likely come back and pay full price. They'll likely tell their friends and families, too.

    Once you sit still in business, you're basically either dead or waiting to die. Except in certain extreme situations, you can never safely say you don't need to cultivate new business. You always have to move forward and try grow at a rate you can handle without jeopardizing the chips you already have on the table. I can easily see why offering an occasional Groupon deal would be a good idea, even if business is relatively strong.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #148 - September 7th, 2010, 1:33 pm
    Post #148 - September 7th, 2010, 1:33 pm Post #148 - September 7th, 2010, 1:33 pm
    I finally tried Semiramis after years of saying I would, and I was overall very pleased. Unfortunately that tasty-looking bean and lamb special was not offered today, so I had the seafood special: tilapia and a mixed green salad with figs and pomegranate dressing. The plate was so beautiful I wish I had thought to bring the camera, although I could have used a little less dressing (just preference, it was quite good). I also ordered a side of fries, mixing up sumac with zataar in my head, but that's okay, they were pretty good too...how do they get them so fluffy on the inside? The skin was all puffed up and crisp and the inside was like mashed potatoes...I told myself they were healthy because of all that air. The only things that were disappointing were the odd selection of music (mostly Middle Eastern dotted with Amy Winehouse and an instrumental/muzak version of Mambo #5) and some unfortunate ass crack that thankfully showed up as I was waiting for the check. Otherwise I found the place very romantic and I'll be bringing Mr. Pie there one of these days.
    I can't decide which I like better, Semiramis or Noon-O-Kabob. This place has better ambience but Noon-O has more vegetarian stuff.

    I'm going to ask a stupid question, as I'm known for such things: how does one get the sludge out of the bottom of the cups of Turkish Coffee? (For those who haven't met me, if you're in a place that serves this and you see a nerd in the corner trying to sneakily pour water into the cup and slosh it around, that's me. Hi.) Am I just not drinking it fast enough, or are you just supposed to leave it? Seems like a waste of good sludge.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #149 - September 7th, 2010, 2:06 pm
    Post #149 - September 7th, 2010, 2:06 pm Post #149 - September 7th, 2010, 2:06 pm
    Pie Lady wrote:how does one get the sludge out of the bottom of the cups of Turkish Coffee?

    I don't think you're "supposed" to drink it;
    that's why they ask you how sweet you
    want it - so you don't have to add sugar
    and stir up the sludge. But if you really
    MUST get at it, why not just ask for a
    spoon? Put a little pinch between your
    cheek and gums, and you just might
    become a trend-setter. Starbucks -
    now with Wi-Fi and SPITTOONS!
  • Post #150 - September 7th, 2010, 2:21 pm
    Post #150 - September 7th, 2010, 2:21 pm Post #150 - September 7th, 2010, 2:21 pm
    SCUBAchef wrote:
    Pie Lady wrote:how does one get the sludge out of the bottom of the cups of Turkish Coffee?

    I don't think you're "supposed" to drink it;
    that's why they ask you how sweet you
    want it - so you don't have to add sugar
    and stir up the sludge. But if you really
    MUST get at it, why not just ask for a
    spoon? Put a little pinch between your
    cheek and gums, and you just might
    become a trend-setter. Starbucks -
    now with Wi-Fi and SPITTOONS!


    Interesting, I was never asked how sweet I wanted it, here or anyplace else. Hmmm, spittoons...
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.

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