Leila opens in Detroit
Before landing on 1249 Griswold Street, Detroit, where Leila opened its doors in late October, co-owner Samy Eid and his father Sameer Eid said they had been looking for a spot in Detroit for years before finding the right fit. “It has a lot of character, a lot of history,” Samy said. “It’s got everything we were looking for and more.” Leila – named after Eid’s mother – is a homecoming of sorts for Eid and his family, who also own Birmingham’s iconic Middle Eastern restaurant Phoenicia, whose original location was about four miles down from Leila. For Eid, Leila is like the younger, more wild sibling of Phoenicia, and is more casual than the Birmingham spot. While Leila’s menu is heavily based on the food served at Phoenicia, and includes their slow-roasted baby back ribs, Leila encourages guests to share dishes with their focus on Lebanese mezze, much like the way his family dines on Sundays. Items include kebabs, done on their charcoal grill, mashawi, and over 20 different appetizers. As for the space itself, the first floor houses the main dining area with a grand staircase that leads to the lower level, where there’s a private dining/lounge space. Hours are still being finalized on the lower level.