The story behind New Hartford's Phoenician Restaurant is straight out of a romance novel. George and Theresa Karam have been serving authentic Lebanese delicacies for 36 years, 28 of them at their 623 French Road location. And for 26 years they have supported Hospice and Palliative Care's Epicurean Delight at Harts Hill Inn on April 15. That's part of their story too.

The Phoenician began when a young man from Lebanon followed the girl of his dreams to the U.S. Through hard work and using recipes from George's mother, the Karam's built one of the longest-running restaurants in the area.

When the restaurant first opened the couple harvested local grape leaves and hand rolled them for their entrees. They even worked with local growers to purchase other ingredients and spices for dishes. 36 years and six children later, George and Theresa still serve up tasty dishes we most likely would have never experienced if not for The Phoenician.

Once again we were fortunate enough to join Hospice's Laurie Barr for lunch served in a true Lebanese style, a little bit of everything. Among our samplings, Humus which is the new superfood everyone is raving about. That makes George smile because he's been serving it for 36 years and eating it for an even longer time. We also tried:

Kafta - ground sirloin and lamb mixed with onions, parsley, and Middle Eastern spices
Falafil - garbanzo beans, fava beans, fresh vegetables with special seasonings
Tabbuli - Burghul (crushed wheat), parsley, onion, freshly sliced tomato and fresh mint  Baklawa - a dessert that will make you forget every donut you ever met.

The Phoenician also serves Chicken and Beef Kabobs, steak, lamb, and seafood. Check out the entire menu at their website. You can also check out their delicious food at Epicurean Delight, April 15th at Hart's Hill Inn. RoSo's is among all the great central New York restaurants teaming up to support Hospice and Palliative Care. Get more details at


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