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Shukette Restaurant NYC

seasame seed topped round bread with a yellow and white boiled egg and chopped green cucumber

Set in a surprising corner spot in Chelsea, where you might expect a pizza parlor, there’s a new go-to Middle Eastern food spot. Shukette Restaurant NYC brings the best food of Israel, Syria and Lebanon to your table. We have to say that lately New York is crushing the restaurant scene, and Shukette is another standout addition. Dine here once and you will realize that Shukette has some of the best Middle Eastern food in NYC. It’s a restaurant that you will return to, over and over again.

Crispy green leaves on colorful blue plate on stone table at Shukette.

Overview 

Shukette is the sister of Shuka, a favorite Mediterranean restaurant  in Soho. But if you’ve dined at both, then you’ll know that Shukette is the livelier of the two. It’s where Chef Ayesha Nurdjaja brings unique Mediterranean food to the NYC food sceneWe love that even Syria, a place most people might never travel to, is presented through jobneh, the Syrian version of string cheese. This is just another example, of why the menu at Shukette is compelling. You’ll want to try a wide range of dishes, so bring a group and order as much as you can. The menu is meant for sharing, which is part of what makes Shukette Restaurant NYC a good time.

The Atmosphere 

To put it simply, the atmosphere is fun. Really fun. From the moment you walk in, there is a lively vibe and everyone is having a great time, especially the people who work there. Shukette is a super casual spot, where you can drop in wearing a t-shirt and sneakers. The interior design is like an upscale diner, and on any given night, every table in the house is full.

Purple and green food on a pastry base on a white plate at Shukette Restaurant NYC.

The Food

What can’t we say about the food at Shukette? It has to be one of the best offerings of Middle Eastern food in NYC. Some of it is reminiscent of the Hasalon Israeli-inspired menu, but without the $36 avocado price tag. Everything on the menu is made to share, and there are usually around 40 unique dishes to choose from. Fill your table with as many plates as possible, (which means bringing as many friends as possible) and make the most of the menu’s diverse offerings. Each dish is based around fresh produce and is laden with aromatic herbs and spices. We love anything seasoned with za’atar, where the flavor profiles at Shukette are a standout. 

What to Order

Every dish on the menu at Shukette is notable, so we’ll try to keep this as concise as possible. The labneh, a traditional Lebanese staple, is a must-order. It’s topped with crispy squash blossoms and honey, which gives you a perfect savory and sweet opening. The salt cod, for those who like the elusive dish of brandade, is also well-executed. It may not be to everyone’s taste, but it’s delicious. If you order anything that you can dip Shukette’s four different kinds of house bread into, then you’re in for an excellent meal.

Also, you can’t say no to their frena bread with roasted garlic. It’s a twist on traditional garlic bread and definitely doesn’t disappoint on the flavor scale, as it’s made to perfection.

Red and orange tomato salad on a blue plate with a silver fork.

The vegetables shine bright on the menu. We have to mention the heirloom tomato salad with the sweetest tomatoes around. It’s topped with corn, whipped garlic and aleppo (which is a pepper).  

The Main Event

It’s hard to narrow down the main dishes, but every table should order the Fish in a Cage. A whole porgy is charcoal grilled to pure perfection in a metal cage. It’s served with pepper, eggplant and herb pistou, and comes laden with corn and zucchini.

There’s only one dessert on the menu at Shukette Restaurant NYC. Yes, just one, but it’s a home run. It’s a soft serve tahini oat milk ice cream with halva, and it’s so good, you may want to order two. It’s an unexpected surprise, and one that is the best way to end the meal. 

Deep red soft serve ice cream on a terracotta plate at Shukette.

The Service 

The excellent food at Shukette is evenly matched by the excellent service. We can’t think, in all our restaurant experience, of another team so happy in their workplace. The reason why everyone dining at Shukette has a good time is because the staff are having a good time too. 

We would go so far as to give Shukette 10/10 for service. The team is knowledgeable, genuine and attentivenes. There’s an intangible quality to service that you can’t teach, and they have it in buckets at Shukette. The management team knows how to hire well, and clearly keeps their staff happy.

Overall:  8/10

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