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New restaurant offers Lebanese specialities

By Staff | Jun 24, 2011

MICHAEL PISTELLA Freda Muribi owns and operates Le Chocolatier and More located at 601 Del Prado Blvd., N.

A new Lebanese restaurant opened in Cape Coral last Saturday offering healthy, fresh, homemade lunch items and an assortment of chocolate deserts made from scratch.
Le Chocolatier and More owner Freda Muribi, who was born and raised in Lebanon, decided to change career paths when she lived in Chicago to pursue her passion of cooking and baking. She said her previous career of working in a bank was not for her, so she began taking cooking classes and practiced making her mother’s and grandmother’s recipes.
Before moving to Cape Coral three years ago, Muribi owned a restaurant in Chicago. After arriving in Cape Coral, she wanted to continue her passion and bring her Mediterranean dishes to Southwest Florida.
“I love cooking and baking,” Muribi said. “If you have passion, the food will turn out really good.”
She began remodeling the restaurant, located on Del Prado Boulevard, in January, along with taking care of city, county and state regulations and working with contractors before opening on June 18. Muribi financed the restaurant out of her own pocket.
Muribi said she loves her new restaurant and hopes it will be successful because it is her passion.
“I am meeting really nice people,” she said, adding that she has had a steady flow of people since opening the doors with a few regulars already.
She said the majority of her dishes include extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice to give it a hint of flavor.
Everything she cooks is made with fresh ingredients because she does not believe in cooking from a can that contains preservatives.
“I don’t want to cheat the customers,” Muribi said.
Some of her lunch dishes include humus, baba ghannouge, fattouche and tabbouleh. The desert menu contains such sweets as Lebanese baklava with sugar water instead of honey, truffles with a lemon or orange flavor and a variety of cakes.
“I try to make it a fresh flavor and not use preservatives for orange and lemon truffles,” she said.
Different specials and lunch dishes are offered on a daily basis.
Her concept of providing only fresh, healthy lunch options is important to her.
“I believe if you eat healthy it will help you in the long run,” Muribi said.
Catering services are also available.
Le Chocolatier and More is open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., Saturday; and closed on Sunday. It is located at 601 Del Prado Blvd., N., in the North Cape Crossing Plaza.
For information call 239-573-6677 or visit www.lechocolatierandmore.com.