A restaurant specializing in Eastern Mediterranean cuisine holds its extended soft opening this week in Inman Square. Moona, which took over the former Playska space at 243 Hampshire St., is unveiling its menu of dips, pickles and olives, appetizers, and shareable dishes.
The restaurant is now accepting reservations for the soft opening and has highlighted a selection of dishes on its reservation page, including couscous tfaya with chickpeas, raisins, and caramelized onions, as well as Istanbul vine leaves with currants, pine nuts, and dill. The official opening for Moona will be October 24.
Moona takes its name from the slang "moona" or "mouneh" for an Arabic word that means "storing," according to its website. An equivalent of "pantry" in English, moona is traditionally "prepared during the bountiful harvest for consumption during winter's harsh days," so perishable produce like olives, herbs, lemons, and more can gain a shelf life.
Moona has 20 seats in its dining area and 10 at the bar. Chef Mark McMann (Shepard, Ashmont Grill) will oversee the menu, which incorporates local and seasonal ingredients along with the restaurant's house made spices, jams, and dried herbs. There will also be wine and craft beer, with rotating seasonal drafts, and customers will be able to purchase Moona's spice blends, jams, pickles, and preserves.
Restaurateurs Mohamad El Zein (formerly of Masa Restaurant Group) and Radouan Ouassaidi (South End Pita) are behind the concept, and the team plans to offer monthly cooking classes.
Reservations for the soft opening are available throughout the week, starting at 5:30 p.m. Moona's full hours will be Sunday to Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., and the bar will be open Sunday to Thursday until 11 p.m. and Friday and Saturday until 12 a.m.