Where is everybody? In the upstairs lounge? Bistro La Minette? They don't pack 'em in until the weekend here.
We happened in on Shouk one night for drinks, caught a feel of the lounge, and promised the bartender we'd come back for dinner. It took us a while, but we finally made it there this week. What a pity that we had not considered it sooner, for it was sublime.
I am a strong supporter of small plates. Not only do they maximize your experience and provide a thorough sampling of the chef's repertoire, they allow you to knock out all of your cravings in one go. Indecisive? Win. Nutritionally varied intake? Win. It's like testing sex positions. Everyone finds something that fits them best.
The mezze that nailed me was the hummus with sauteed mushrooms. Reminiscent of the made-to-order spread at Zahav's, I'd call this one even more remarkable. Just as silky with a bouquet of lustful fungi and some sturdy pita to clean it up with. Purple mashed potatoes, grilled eggplant, our just-because order of pasta with pesto, I could only agree with all of it.
Shouk has a definite aura, and by this point, we were wrapped in it. The interior massages you with to-the-floor couches, cushy pillows, and mood lighting. There's no fuss or rush, and the service is easygoing and natural. You won't be pressured to try a hookah, but if that was the plan? You're in fine hands.
Shouk, 622 S. 6th St.