CLARKS SUMMIT — The New Cafe, 829 Old State Road located at Greystone Gardens, will be one of the participating restaurants during the Rotary Club of the Abingtons 14th annual Taste of the Abingtons fundraising event from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30 at the Ramada Inn, South Abington Township.
Owner Dominic Saadi is excited to have the business take part in the event for the first time.
“It’s for a worthy cause and it will give our fine restaurant some exposure,” Saadi said. “A lot of people don’t know this treasure is here and there’s nothing better than doing something good for you and good for the community.”
The restaurant has been at its current location for a little more than 1 1/2 year,. It was located on North Washington Avenue in Scranton for eight years prior whre it was known as City Cafe.
Saadi believes the spot next to the garden center suits the restaurant’s clientele.
“It’s an idyllic location with a beautiful setting,” he said.
Saadi also feels the restaurant fills a void in the greater Clarks Summit area.
“(Downtown Scranton) kind of became restaurant saturated and a lot of my customers were already coming from Clarks Summit,” he said. “I thought Clarks Summit could use another restaurant of this caliber. A lot of them are franchises. I was kind of surprised at the dearth of restaurants in this area serving this kind of clientele.”
According to Saadi, the restaurant started as Lebanese cuisine at its Scranton location but has evolved to feature a more diverse menu.
“From Lebanese, I went to Mediterranean which I brought here and I expanded it to what I call ‘global,’” he said. “It’s still largely Mediterranean with a strong Lebanese ascent, but I’ll do a Mexican dish or an Asian dish.
“What ties it all together is that it’s savory and healthy. We don’t fry anything; everything is baked and we do a lot of farm to table. We have a lot of vegetarian and some vegan options.”
Per Saadi, the restaurant will serve Kafta kabobs, a ground beef dish with mint parsley and onion popular in the Middle East, along with a variety of appetizers, including hummus and dips with pita chips, and Za’atar bread, a pita bread with thyme, sesame seeds and a lemon-flavored herb which he described as a Mediterranean-style pizza.
Saadi added one of the most popular items at the restaurant is the vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free tasting platter that consists of hummus, Muhammara walnut dip, grape leaves, Baba Ghanouj, fava bean salad and falafel.
“It has more than a food significance, because it’s meant for sharing and that’s what this restaurant is about,” he said. “For me, the table is a host for conversation between friends and family.”
Tickets for the event, which will feature beer, food and wine tastings, can be purchased for $25 at the door, from a Rotarian or by calling Diane Calabro at 570-587-5050. The event will also include raffles and door prizes, along with music and entertainment.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.