ITHACA, N.Y.—Loumies celebrated its official opening on a wet Wednesday afternoon in Collegetown.
The Levantine-inspired menu presents Center Japanese delicacies like lentil soup, hummus, zaatar, cheese, hen and beef savory pies, okra stew, mushroom artichoke and stuffed zucchini dishes. The restaurant additionally takes care to annotate its menu with gluten-free, vegan and vegetarian choices.
Not too long ago transferring to Ithaca from New York Metropolis, Raina and Raed Kaldi have been impressed to open a restaurant and provide home-style meals to varsity college students and Ithaca residents alike.
In attendance for the ribbon-cutting have been Metropolis of Ithaca Alderperson Ducson Nguyen, Tompkins Chamber of Commerce Jennifer Tavarez and Tompkins County Legislator Wealthy John, amongst others.
“Thanks a lot everybody for displaying up and supporting us, we really feel the love of Ithaca,” Raina mentioned. “The explanation why we’re right here is as a result of we fell in love with Ithaca. We got here through the pandemic and that’s the place we got here up with the concept for Loumies. It’s particularly for Ithaca. We’re wanting ahead to creating loads of mates, consuming loads of meals and having loads of enjoyable.”
Raed agreed with that sentiment. “We each have been throughout Dubai, London, New York, and we lastly determined it was time to cool down. We actually belong on this group and we really feel completely welcome, we thanks for that and we need to give again.”
Although she by no means anticipated opening a restaurant, Raina has beloved cooking. She mentioned she used to cater on the facet, throwing huge occasions with loads of meals. After these experiences, opening the restaurant was the subsequent problem for her.
Loumies initially opened on the very finish of the autumn semester proper as college students have been leaving for winter break. The restaurant closed down for a little bit little bit of the winter low season earlier than reopening at the start of Spring 2022 and chopping the ribbon March 23.
“I understand how to cook dinner however managing a restaurant is totally completely different. We’re the actual entrepreneurs, working day and evening,” she mentioned. Whereas they work on hiring employees members, Raed, she mentioned, holds the official self-bestowed title as one of the best dish-washer in Ithaca, not less than in the interim.
The meals is from Raina’s expertise in Dubai, the place she lived for 18 years. Describing it as a melting pot of flavors and tradition, “all people comes with meals. I’m fascinated with meals, Raed and I are the right foodies.”
Selfmade Center Japanese meals is one thing Raina mentioned she hasn’t seen a lot in Ithaca, particularly in Collegetown. The menu is a cautious number of all of the dishes she likes to make and eat, which she says helps with the cooking course of.
Raed mentioned that their subsequent step apart from hiring a employees is to work on the catering facet of issues. Whereas Loumies is on supply apps, they haven’t seen many orders and are counting on walk-in clients, not less than for now. “So far as our expectations, we’re proper on the right track and doing effectively. We’re glad,” he mentioned.
Loumies is situated at 114 Dryden Street and is open seven days every week for walk-ins, pick-up or supply.