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Middle Eastern And Continental Cuisine-Sesame Seed Restaurant



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Middle Eastern And Continental Cuisine—

Sesame Seed Restaurant


For more than three decades, fans of Middle Eastern cuisine have been flocking to Sesame Seed on West Wooster Street in Danbury. Situated in a building that was formally a home, it has a welcoming full-width porch and large picture windows; the entry level of the casual, eclectic interior features shelves crammed with the collections of chef/owner Dimitri Chaber.

The varied collections are placed and stacked on every available surface, from the window sills and fireplace mantel to a full wall of shelves and on the piano that occupies the center of the room, which has 18 two- and four-person tables. Diners can cast their eyes on childhood memory-inducing familiar old toys and games, radios, teapots and bowls, and old photos among other items, while they wait for the arrival of their food.

There are more tables upstairs, grouped in five interconnecting rooms. Here the atmosphere is more Victorian, elegant, with antique tables and lamps, vividly patterned wallpaper in some of the rooms, and lace curtains on the windows.

But it is the food –– delicious Middle Eastern, vegetarian, and Continental dishes offered at very reasonable prices — that keeps people coming back. As one 20-plus-year customer observed, “The food is wonderful, the staff is excellent and friendly, and the prices are quite affordable; what more could you want?”

The fixed menu for lunch and dinner is the same, with numerous specials offered daily. Five popular appetizers have customers eager for more: humus, baba ghanouj, a platter of half of each, tabouli, and falafel.

Reasonably priced dinner platters include Kibbee, ground lamb with cracked wheat; Kafta, ground lamb and spices; and lamb kabobs. All are served with brown rice. Lunch also offers favorites such as falafel and kabobs in sandwiches or on plates.

Well known for its vegetarian entrees, Sesame Seed also offers a variety of seafood and meat dishes, prepared with fresh ingredients and artfully seasoned, all at a price that pleases the pocketbook. Salad and rice are included, and most entrees also have a complementary vegetable.

Among the seafood dishes on a daily specials menu are grilled trout, rainbow trout almondine, scallops Florentine, grilled mahi and mahi margeno (sautéed in olive oil with sweet peppers, onions, mushrooms, garlic and a pinch of white wine). Salmon is also offered, prepared three ways: with leeks, sun dried tomatoes, and asparagus; with roasted peppers, artichoke hearts, and asparagus; or simply grilled, with herbs.

Raviollete pasta is served “Billy” — stuffed with goat cheese, sautéed with onions, tomatoes, olives, and spinach; “Frankie” — stuffed with smoked mozzarella and roasted chicken sautéed in butter with leeks, peas, asparagus, and Romano; or “Oswaldo” — filled with zucchini, peas, carrots, spinach and potatoes, and sautéed with a sweet potato sauce and asparagus. Diners also enjoy the artichoke- and ricotta-filled cannelloni, eggplant lasagna, or gnocchi sautéed in butter with vegetables.

Mindful of health considerations, the menu notes that if requested, meals will be made with soybean oil rather than butter. And for those children who will only eat the familiar, an order of pasta with tomato sauce or butter and Romano cheese is always available.

Diners can enjoy wine by the glass or bottle, as well as choose from a selection of beers. In addition to standard soda fare, Sesame Seed offers a wide selection of Blue Sky All Natural Sodas and Poland Springs selzers, as well as herbal teas.

The upstairs dining area is open for weekend dinner and special occasions. During the warm weather, tables and chairs are set on a patio out front amid flowers where patrons can relax while waiting for friends or a table.

Sesame Seed Restaurant, 68 West Wooster Street, Danbury, is open for lunch Monday through Saturday from 11:30 to 3 and dinner from 5 to 9:30 Monday through Thursday, 5 to 10:30 Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday. Upstairs dining room is open 6 to 10 on Friday and Saturday and for special occasions. Visa and MasterCard accepted; reservations only for parties of five or more; 203-743-9850. Website: SesameSeedRestaurant.com.

Note: Wooster Street runs between Main Street (Route 53) and the airport exit off Route 7. Parking is on the street or behind the restaurant.

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