Falafel Feast at Feniks

MTNew Lebanese eatery Feniks features an opulent, but cozy, interior.
When entering the recently opened Lebanese restaurant Feniks, the first thing that strikes you is the security, which is formidable. There is not only a walk-through metal detector, but handbags are inspected as well -- entering Feniks is akin to entering one of the city's large casinos.

Inside, however, the restaurant the atmosphere is perfectly relaxed. The interior is richly appointed yet cozy at the same time. The interior follows a Middle Eastern theme with a soft orange-bronze color scheme accented with some decorative tiling. The ceiling is particularly elaborate, divided by dark wood beams into panels, each decorated with an individual Middle Eastern motif. All the seating is suitably cushy for easy lounging. The background music is appropriately exotic.

Unlike a certain other recently opened downtown Lebanese restaurant, Feniks serves falafel (220 rubles), and it's good falafel at that. Other Lebanese classics include cold starters such as tabouli (160 rubles), baba ghanoush ( 160 rubles), mutabbel (160 rubles) and labneh (110 rubles). There are two sorts of hummus, regular (140 rubles) and "Beirut-style" (150 rubles). Fattoush salad goes for 160 rubles.

Hot dishes include three varieties of sambousek -- spinach, cheese and meat (all 130 rubles) and kebbeh stuffed with either lamb or beef (both 150 rubles). For the adventurous there are such "variety meat" dishes as beid ghanam lamb's fry (240 rubles) and braised lamb's brains (240 rubles).

Draft beers include Zolotaya Bochka (100 rubles a half-liter), Kozel (110 rubles a half-liter) and Holsten (130 rubles a half-liter).

23 Bolshaya Andronyevskaya Ul., 670-0171/0467, noon-4 a.m., M. Rimskaya.