January 6, 2021, by Kathy Leonard Czepiel- Tucked into little bird's nest pastries and featured in authentic Damascan-style ice cream, pistachios are a key ingredient at the new Pistachio Café in Westville. This "nut of choice" for Syrians, owner Mohamad Hafez says, symbolizes Syria's legendary hospitality. Hafez aims to bring his native country to his neighbors not just through its food-alongside delicacies from Mediterranean Sea neighbors including Turkey, Greece, Italy and Lebanon-but also by creating an opportunity for people to meet and talk with others from different cultures over a cup of coffee. Located in the Lotta Studio Building at the corner of Whalley Avenue and Blake Street, Pistachio replaces a coffee counter that once served as the entry into the studio. Now separated from Lotta in its own larger space, Pistachio Café's entry boasts a display case filled with baked goods-from Middle Eastern delicacies like namoura and baklava to European treats like scones and croissants-and offers a full coffee and tea menu, including specialty coffees from Syria, Turkey and Saudi Arabia..."
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