To tell the story of Sassool Mediterranean Cafe, you first have to tell the tale of Neomonde Bakery. When the Saleh family came to America, they longed for the Lebanese food they left behind, particularly fresh pita bread. Inspired by family recipes going back generations — four brothers, Sam, Joe, Mounir, and DeGaulle, opened Neomonde Bakery in 1977. It eventually expanded into a standalone restaurant with multiple locations throughout the Triangle.
In 2011, Mounir decided to start his own restaurant, Sassool. The name of the restaurant and its recipes are inspired by Mounir’s grandmother, Cecilia Saleh, aka Sassool – a nickname bestowed upon her by her father back in Lebanon.
” Our success is due to our winning team. My mom, dad, sister and I all bring unique and different talents to the table. All together we are a powerhouse. My mom is the brain, my dad is the heart, and my sister and I are the hands. We are always pushing each other and questioning ourselves to make sure we are providing the absolute best quality food for our guests…
– Noelle Scott, Sasool Cafe GM
Traditional Lebanese Fare
The menu at Sassool is strikingly similar to Neomonde, but General Manager Noelle Scott says that may change as the years go by. Neomonde and Sassool operate independently of each other.
Notable items on Sassool’s menu include the Mediterranean chicken salad (Scott’s favorite), the stuffed grape leaves and, of course, the hummus with freshly made pita bread that’s made right there in the restaurant. The menu also features a fabulous array of fresh salads. Some seasonal salads, such as Autumn Root, have become so popular that they were added to the regular menu and served year-round. The newest salad to be added to is the Pearled Couscous Salad.
Since you are sure to be inspired by the Sassool’s menu, there is a small market inside the restaurant stocked with many of the same ingredients they use. You can make your very own Mediterranean meals at home!
The food at Sassool is healthy, as well as delicious. It’s an ideal spot if you are dining with a group that has various dietary needs and preferences. There are multiple vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options on the menu.
Sassool is open for lunch and dinner. Be sure to check the website for daily specials and events! Wednesday’s Wine & Dine features half-price bottles of house wine all day, along with $5 appetizers after 4pm. Check out below some of the delicious and yummy specials:
Chicken & Potatoes in a Lemon/Garlic Sauce
Kafta & Potatoes
Curry Chicken and Vegetables
Lamb & Rice Special
Basmati Rice w/Chicken
Chicken & Pasta in Bechamel Sauce
Salmon over Curry Rice (After 4pm)
Spanakopita (After 4pm)
Sassool Select at Morgan Street Food Hall — Coming SOON!
Sassool will be one of the founding spots at the much anticipated Morgan Street Food Hall, which will hopefully be open in June 2018. The concept, Sassool Select, will be a scaled-down version of its larger restaurants but will feature many of its popular Mediterranean dishes.
In the meantime, you can visit Sassool for lunch or dinner in North Raleigh, and in Cary. Both locations also offer catering services. The food, along with the story behind it, is a true delight. We are sure that you will agree!
Sassool’s Bright Future In The Triangle
Noelle and Simone, Mounir’s oldest daughters, help manage the two Sassool restaurants in North Raleigh & Cary, along with loyal assistant managers. The two sisters both share the passion for their roots and “Sassool’s standard,” ensuring that the tradition will continue.
This sibling dynamic duo could not be more opposite, but the girls will tell you that they have learned a lot working together and have found a synergy. Nothing and no one is left unattended, just like their “Taita” Cecilia would insist. Both girls know the restaurant inside and out, having started working since the age of 15 with their father when he was at Neomonde.
Noelle graduated from NC State with a degree in interdisciplinary studies and family business while working full time. Her firm but kind personality has made her a master of delegation. She is not afraid to tell employees to clean better, be more thorough, or restock the grocery shelves.
Simone graduated from NC State with a degree in business management and entrepreneurship, while working full time as well. Simone is a workhorse like her father, and she is the person who executes special projects.
” Altogether, you could not ask for a more talented and loving team. With Cecilia’s love and original recipes, the high level of customer service which Mounir examples every day, and the energy and enthusiasm from the girls, we cannot wait to greet and serve your next meal. Welcome to Sassool. Welcome to our home…
Between helping customers, training employees, testing new items, upholding standards, and placing orders; these girls are learning more and more to become dynamic business people just like their father. Noelle and Simone are proud to be a part of Sassool, to have learned so much about preparing Taita Cecilia’s recipes, great customer service, and to be a part of something bigger than just serving people food.
They feel inspired by seeing regular customers come back each day and love serving new customers who walk in not knowing what to expect. “It makes me excited to be able to talk to new customers, I am proud to tell them about the food and the restaurant, because it is food I believe in, and a history with the tradition that will live on,” says Simone.