We are always over the moon when a new, healthful dining spot debuts near the office–as was the case when Naya Mediterranean Cuisine opened up at the SHOPS Gainey Village in Scottsdale a few months ago. As its names suggests, Naya dishes up traditional Mediterranean eats–most of which is super good for you with a dose of indulgences for good measure (we’re looking at you, baklava). During a lunchtime visit, we enjoyed the springtime weather on the quaint, pretty patio (the interior of the restaurant is just as stunning with touches of baby blue, oversize booths and dark woods).
The mezzo combo is a great way to kick off the meal, as it offers a little bit of everything–a platter of Mediterranean cuisine’s greatest hits. The hummus is rich and creamy while the baba ghanouj offers just a touch of sweetness and tang. Both are delicious on the light, pillowy pitas (request a few more for the table). The tabbouleh salad is a refreshing, flavorful composition of chopped parsley, cracked wheat and a plethora of veggies, finished with a light olive-lemon dressing. Another top-notch appetizer is the hearty spinach pie; the flaky starter comprises fresh dough stuffed with spinach, pine nuts and lemon juice.
For a guilt-free lunch, the salmon salad is tops. Naya dishes up a generous size of flaky pan-seared salmon on a bed of green tossed in a slightly sweet balsamic-honey vinaigrette. A little more indulgent, Jenne’s Penne is simply scrumptious. Though it appears simple–chicken with penne, topped with a creamy sauce–the chicken is tea-smoked and the sauce is an utterly decadent quattro formaggio bianca.
To end the meal, a slice of baklava is, of course, a necessity. Naya’s version of baklava (sized for two) is airy and crisp, not soggy as many versions we have tried before.
Stop by Naya for happy hour, from 3 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. www.nayaaz.com.