A bit of the Middle East in the heart of Indialantic

You may not know precisely what Skewers is, but you know it’s there. You can hear it: joyous, Mediterranean-style music that makes the more adventurous (and lithe) diner want to get up and dance. And you most certainly can smell it: the aromas of fresh meats, seafood and vegetables grilling over charcoal, perhaps with a hint something from the hookah.

Skewers Mediterranean grille, to use its full name, has become a classic in the restaurant district on Fifth Avenue in Indialantic, one of the great venues of the area for Middle Eastern cuisine and all the fun and adventure that goes with it. It’s not so classic that it’s stilted, however.

Appetizers include expected classics: humus, falafel, baba ghanouj, stuffed grape leaves; but there’s also flash-fried eggplant served with Armenian-style chutney and a smoked mahi pate, the topping of which includes tomatoes, onions and walnuts. Shish taouk (garlic-lemon chicken), New Zealand lamb tenderloin shish kebob and their fellow meats are char-broiled, rather gently. The Butterfly Combination (ouzi, kafta kebob, grape leaves hummus and tabouleh) is a substantial dish you’d expect of a good Middle Eastern restaurant in the heart of Manhattan. Fire seems to be a theme here, where the Bananas Fosters are properly flambéed for dessert.

And where there’s fire, there’s smoke: Yes, you can enjoy a bit of aromatic tobacco from a classic hookah in Skewers’ garden, though if you’re expecting lots of tar and nicotine, try again. This is a light tobacco mixed with fruit pulp.

It all adds up to an experience rather than merely a meal: a great getaway on a busy, year-end night.

Skewers Mediterranean Grille

Address: 144 5th Ave, Indialantic

Phone: (321) 727-8944

Web site: www.skewersrestaurant.net

Hours: noon to 8 p.m. Sundays; 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays; noon to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays.

Price range: $12-25 (dinner)

Other: Vegetarian specialties available, as are seafood and steak dishes. Live music and belly dancing, wine list.

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