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Cedar Mediterranean opens on Monroe Ave 

There's something glorious about freshly baked bread. Biting into a still-warm slice; feeling the steam as you bring it to your mouth. The smell ... it's good stuff. All of the bread is baked to order at Elia and Ghada Ghanatios' newest venture, Cedar Mediterranean Restaurant (746 Monroe Avenue). The couple has been in the Rochester restaurant business for 20 years, having opened Sultan Lebanese Cuisine and Bakery.

On the Lebanese and Mediterranean focused menu is manakeesh, a flatbread staple in Lebanese cuisine that in its most traditional form (Za'atar) is topped with Lebanese spices and olive oil. All of the flatbreads on the menu are under $10 and can be topped with cheese, beef, and even eggs and sausage.

What's unique about the experience at Cedar is that Elia makes all the flatbreads and pita breads to order — the bread takes about three minutes to bake in a small oven. "You order it, you see me make it; I've got the gloves and hat on right in front of you," Elia says. The couple wanted to move closer to downtown to attract a lunch crowd, where the entire take-out experience will clock in under 10 minutes.

The restaurant is a family affair; you'll also find Ghada in the kitchen cooking up lentil or chicken vegetable soups ($3.50 or $4). The pita pockets come stuffed with your choice of shawarma (chicken or beef), falafel, or a shish or kefta kabob, all for under $10 as well. A variety of traditional Mediterranean salads, and appetizers are also available. The Lebanese Salad ($6) combines tomato, cucumber, peppers, lemon juice, olive oil, and herbs. And if you're looking for a caffeine kick, try the Lebanese coffee or tea ($1.50).

The restaurant offers take-out as well as dine-in options.

Cedar Mediterranean Restaurant is located at 746 Monroe Avenue and is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Cedar can be reached by phone at 442-7751, and on Facebook under Cedar Mediterranean Restaurant.

Quick bites

Nosh (47 Russell Street) will host Corks for Conservation, a fundraiser benefitting Seneca Park Zoo, on Sunday November 6, from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $75 in advance, $85 at the door, and will include a four-course wine pairing menu created by Nosh Chef Joseph Zolnierowski. The evening also includes wine tastings, a silent and live auction, and a wine pull. Tickets can be purchased at 4455a.blackbaudhosting.com/4455a/Corks-for-Conservation. Attendees must be 21 and over.

Black Button Distilling (85 Railroad Street) has been hosting Food Truck BrunchSundays during the fall. Meat the Press will be the featured truck on Sunday, November 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the food truck fare, Black Button Distilling will feature drink specials including Bloody Marys, Mimosas, and its own creation, the Wake Up Call, made with bourbon cream, Death Wish Coffee vodka, and Rochester's own Fuego cold brew. More information at blackbuttondistilling.com.

Closings

Cello's Bar and Lounge (522 East Main Street) has closed.

Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to food@rochester-citynews.com.

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