In less than a year Labebe has established itself as one of the area’s best destinations for the finest Mediterranean cuisine. Diners know they will enjoy the freshest spices, produce, and meats that are the heart of the region’s dishes. Family-run, Labebe places the same emphasis on the quality of the ingredients that go into their recipes that generations before used in their mountain village in Lebanon. Dishes are prepared fresh each day, and guests enjoy recipes that have been handed down with loving care.

A new bonus for diners is outdoor seating on the soon to be completed second floor patio. This will be the perfect spot for al fresco dining on soft summer nights, a very Mediterranean tradition. The patio will have room for up to 30 people.

Also new is the expanded Happy Hour, which will now be Sunday to Friday from noon to 7 p.m. Select wines from the regions around the Mediterranean will be offered for half price, a perfect opportunity to stretch your palate and experience wines that are not your ordinary chardonnay. Specialty cocktails and half-price beers are also on offer. Be sure to check out the appetizer specials as well. Labebe’s famous grilled octopus will definitely be on the Happy Hour menu as will mussels and the duck confit, among other dishes.

A creative enhancement to the regular menu are specials that highlight the cuisine of the various countries which surround the entire Mediterranean. Each weekend will concentrate on a different country. French and Spanish dishes are just a couple of the areas that will be featured. Give your tastebuds a tour of the Med.

Be sure to keep an eye out for Labebe’s announcement about its upcoming live entertainment. Soon music will resound on Fridays and Saturdays after the dinner hours.

The venue still boasts two separate rooms perfect for business, civic meetings, or personal celebrations with plenty of room and privacy. The main dining room has a chic modern decor of rich browns, creams, and the sparkle of sleek mosaic walls. The tables are well spaced and large enough to accommodate the myriad dishes that entice you.

The menu is comprehensive but not so large that each dish cannot be created fresh. For diners who have experienced the cuisine of the region on their travels, dinner at Labebe will transport them back to the jasmine scented hills. This is the menu to expand your tastes and explore authentic, traditional dishes. Favorites such as kebabs, pasta, and steak are also expertly prepared. No matter your preference, the helpful staff will guide you through the variety of choices.

Dessert is a must. Feathery light tiramisu and the equally light asmaliye with its hints of orange blossoms are perfect endings to the meal. Heartier appetites can indulge in a sinful chocolate lava cake. And who could resist real baklava?

The bar still boasts the best Lebanese wines of the Bekaa Valley, bearing the scent of ripe berries. The full menu and a bar menu is available at the bar as well. Labebe is open Monday through Thursday from noon to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 9 p.m. They will happily cater your next event as well.

Labebe, 2150 Route 130 North, North Brunswick. www.labeberestaurant.com. 732-658-6400. See ad, page 22.

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