The new Dory’s Mediterranean Grill – aka DMG – promises “Lebanese hospitality…with a twist.” But, what exactly does that mean? According to the owners of the new spot in Medford, Dory Chamoun and Christine Chamoun, it means quite a bit.
“Our guests will see an ongoing twist of creativity when it comes to our menu, our event planning and what entertainment we offer throughout the year,” says Dory. The menu includes a Lebanese twist on Greek staples like gyros and souvlaki. Plus, as a tribute to French influence on Lebanese culture, they feature various macarons on their dessert menu. You’ll also find chocolate hummus (more on that tasty treat in just a bit).
Dory has over 25 years of experience in the hospitality field. His previous jobs include hotel and restaurant management, both in the US and abroad; at places such as the Bridgewater Marriott and Marriott Marquis in New York City. Meanwhile, Christine’s background includes teaching in Lebanon, where the culture, customs, and food made a lasting impression on her.
Opening Dory’s Mediterranean Grill in Medford was a perfect fit for the Chamouns; in fact, they live in town and can’t stop raving about it. “It’s such a great place to live and to visit,” Christine says. “Medford has an incredibly sweet hometown feel to it. Ultimately, Dory and I felt it was a match for our restaurant. We could envision serving this loving community.”
It took the aid of designers Kristen and Oscar Benavides of Benavides Design House to bring DMG to life. “They helped us design the space in a way that was in sync with what we envisioned,” says Christine. “The ambiance is this cool, modern rustic vibe with a variety of seating including counter seats, tables and a church bench.”
Inside, you’ll find an herbal garden as well as some personal effects on display, too. For example, souvenirs like artwork and photos from past trips to Lebanon adorn the walls and counters.
The open-kitchen concept restaurant is a fusion of fast casual and BYOB. Guests order up front, receive a number, and then take a seat. Wine glasses, openers, and ice buckets are available for those who bring their own drinks.
As for the menu, they offer authentic Lebanese mezze (appetizers), salads, sandwiches, combination platters, and desserts. Christine says the most popular dish is the “Mix It Up” combination platter; which lets patrons choose one of seven protein options, plus two vegetables. The platter comes with pita and three sauces (including tzatziki). They also have vegetarian or gluten-free options, and use a special gluten-free fryer.
If you save room for dessert, DMG suggests the walnut baklava or chocolate hummus. The latter is “a trendy spin on a beloved classic,” Christine says. They serve their chocolate hummus with fresh, deep-fried pita crisps, tossed in cinnamon sugar. “When we say fresh, we’re talking made in-house and made to-order,” she says. Click here to see the full menu.
Dory’s Mediterranean Grill seats up to 28 guests, including counter seating which overlooks Ironstone Village’s courtyard and gazebo. In addition, they have a front patio with three tables for al fresco dining.
The Gallery at Dory’s Mediterranean Grill
DMG is also home to “The Gallery at DMG,” an in-house art gallery. The picture rail can accommodate over a dozen works of art. The first art installation at DMG features paintings and prints taking inspiration from the landscapes of Lebanon. In the future, they hope to partner with local artists and art studios to feature unique and family friendly art. “We hope in particular to give youth a platform to display and sell their art,” says Christine.
Dory’s Mediterranean Grill also supports Operation Yellow Ribbon. On a daily basis, they collect money to help send care packages to active troops. Additionally, they offer a daily 15-percent Military Discount to military, military spouses, and veterans.
Don’t forget to visit the Best of NJ Food section to find more great places to eat!
All Photos: © Dory’s Mediterranean Grill