July 8, 2024

BEY Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar to open in downtown Roswell this fall

By Yvonne Zusel at The Atlanta-Journal Constitution

Two Lebanese-born restaurateurs are hoping to bring a taste of their home country to Roswell with BEY Mediterranean Kitchen & Bar, set to open this fall.

Located at 1035 Alpharetta Highway in downtown Roswell’s new Southern Post development, BEY comes from Marc Mansour and Chaouki “C.K.” Khoury. The pair owned and operated Zatar Lebanese Tapas and Bar in the Deep Ellum area of Dallas in 2016 before Khoury’s neurology practice brought the pair to Atlanta in 2019.

BEY is inspired by their coastal hometown of Beirut (BEY is the city’s airport code), though the menu will offer dishes, flavors and techniques from many other countries along the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Italy, Greece and France.

Featured dishes will include duck boulettes with spicy fig jam and pistachios; sujuk crêpe cigars with Armenian sausages and Lebanese cheeses; halloumi saganaki; tangerine-glazed grilled octopus; grilled branzino with sofrito cilantro chutney; and the tasting tray with five mezzes, including falafel and hummus “made the Lebanese way,” Mansour said. “It’s silky, lemony and has a touch of garlic and a little less tahini.” Tabouleh will also be prepared Lebanese-style, heavier on the parsley instead of the cracked wheat.

An upside-down lamb pilaf with cardamom and garlic-cucumber yogurt sauce, the one holdover from the Zatar menu, was inspired by Khoury’s mother.

Featured desserts will include a halva-filled chocolate cake and rotating flavors of soft-serve ice cream such as pistachio and tahini with halva crumbles.

“We want to show that there’s more to Lebanese desserts than just baklava,” Mansour said. “Although, of course we’ll have baklava, too.”

Among BEY’s weekend brunch offerings will be a falafel waffle with condiments like tahini, pickles and mint with the option to add an egg; a tower with mini pastries, baklava and tea sandwiches; and brunch cocktails like an espresso martini and an Aperol spritz.

While about 60% of the menu will remain the same throughout the year, several dishes will be swapped out seasonally, including soups and stews in the winter. Most produce will be sourced from local growers and purveyors including Athena Farms and Farmers and Fishermen, while items like tahini will be shipped from Lebanon.

The beverage program will feature a craft cocktail list using staple Lebanese seasonings like thyme, zaatar and sumac; a curated wine list focused on Lebanese, Greek and French wines; and a handful of nonalcoholic beverages.

The menu was developed with executive chef Matthew Rainey, an Atlanta native who most recently served in the same position at Select Restaurant & Bar in Sandy Springs and also worked at STK Atlanta and eateries in Florida.

Mansour attended culinary school in Lebanon but quickly realized that his passion for the hospitality industry extended beyond the kitchen. He earned a degree in food service administration and worked for several hotels before landing at the Four Seasons Atlanta as the director of catering and events.

“I wanted to know enough about flavors to be on the creative side, but I didn’t want to be the one in the kitchen,” he said. “I wanted Matthew, who’s amazing at what he does, to come in and lead the execution on it. We’re going to marry what I know from the Lebanese side with his flair with the other Mediterranean cuisines.”

Mansour said his position at the Four Seasons, which he’s leaving at the end of July to focus on BEY, helped inform the type of culture he wants to introduce at the restaurant.

“It’s going to be a marriage of Lebanese hospitality, where we treat everyone like family, and the golden rule at the Four Seasons, where you treat others as you want to be treated and an emphasis on great customer service and hospitality,” said Mansour, who will mostly focus on running the front of the house, including training servers to understand the intricacies of Lebanese cuisine.

The 100-seat space, designed by RCG Restaurant Consulting Group uses touches of coral and seafoam green, bronze chandeliers and light-grey floors inlaid with green tiled designs. The wicker back chairs, found in many Lebanese homes, are created with a weaving process called khayzaran. A small outdoor space will seat about 20 guests.

A 12-seat bar features three arches, also often seen in traditional Lebanese homes, crowned with metalwork. A 24-seat private room will be available for special events.

Several other food and beverage concepts are slated to open in the coming weeks in the Southern Post development, including Grana, Butcher & Brew, Azotea Cantina, Amorino Gelato, Silla del Toro, Belux Coffee Roasters, DaVinci’s Donuts and Vietvana Pho Noodle House.

BEY’s hours will be 4-10 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays and 4-11 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, with brunch served 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.

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