With new restaurants opening their doors like wildfire around Stamford, sometimes the best place to go is one that has been a staple for years. Tabouli Grill has maintained its spot at the top of the list of our favorite restaurants in Stamford since they opened their doors, and we’ve frequented more times than we can remember since the owner and chef Judy Roll left the JCC in North Stamford to open the best Israeli restaurant in town. It is rare to find a restaurant with such consistently excellent food, service, and as satisfying as Tabouli, which explains why we stop in at least once a week. Not only is Israeli food light and healthy, but Tabouli makes sure to pack in as much flavor and as many high-quality dishes from the region as possible; always leaving us more than thrilled when we order.
The menu features a plethora of authentic Israeli and other Middle Eastern dishes, but you can never go wrong with the house-made hummus that Tabouli has perfected. The baba ghanoush is smooth and packed with a garlicky punch, while the labneh is tangy and creamy (both perfect pairings with the delicious and warm pita that Tabouli serves as well). They also feature a classic Yemeni dish (known as malaweh) that is one of our favorite things on the menu: a crispy, flaky bread which is topped with fresh tomato, feta, and kalamata olives that is enhanced with za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mix based on sumac and sesame). We always make sure to order a few stuffed pitas, which come with everything from chicken and lamb shawarma (roasted in the kitchen on vertical spits reminiscent of the ones you can find from the streets of Manhattan to Tel Aviv), to perfectly cooked lamb kofta which are stuffed to the brim with spices and are moist and juicy when cut into. My absolute favorite thing on the menu is the sabiach pita. Tabouli nails this extremely authentic Israeli street food, which features a pita filled with fried eggplant, hardboiled egg, fresh Israeli salad (with just the right amount of parsley), and ALWAYS fresh tahini (NEVER HUMMUS!). Make sure to always ask for their homemade hot sauce on the side, the green is aromatic and herb-based while the red is similar to harissa (get ready for the heat!). Nothing goes with Israeli food like Dr. Brown’s soda (I love cream, my family prefers the black cherry), and a slice of freshly baked baklava that Tabouli does so well. Not only do we never get tired of the unlimited options that Tabouli provides, we literally cannot get enough.