Situated on one of the most colorful and charming streets in Rochester and owned by a UR alumnus is the Oasis Mediterranean Bistro & Wine Bar is a charming place to stop for a satisfying meal.

Located at 687 Monroe Ave., it?s easily accessible from campus by the Eastman bus ? Route 72. Simply get off at the corner of Alexander Street and Monroe, and it?s only a short walk down Monroe from there.

If you choose to drive, there is ample parking available on the side and rear of the restaurant.

The simple yet elegant decor, coupled with the soft music playing in the background, creates an atmosphere intimate enough for a date or an evening out with close friends.

The dining room is fairly small, seating around 35 people. A huge picture window overlooking Monroe Ave. serves to add to the charming ambience.

The chef, UR alumnus Ziad Wehbe, came out to suggest we save plenty of room for dessert.

Enthusiastic in his manner, he seemed genuinely excited about the restaurant?s planned expansion.

In addition to the main dining room, he hopes to offer outdoor dining in time for the summer.

We started off our meal with a sampling of appetizers, which included baba ghannouj, only $1.95 for a small portion.

Baba ghannouj is a vegan dish consisting of pured eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and spices. Served with warm pita bread, the meal is a perfect mix of flavors.

The menu is fairly diverse and offers several vegetarian and vegan options.

Entree prices range from $6.95 to $15. Our choices for the night were the pasta formaggi priced at $8.95 and the chicken tawouk priced at $9.95.

The formaggi was a delightful combination of olive oil, garlic, roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, tomato, cilantro, basket cheese and scallions.

A more than generous portion, we were presented with a seemingly endless bowl of pasta.

The tawouk, two skewers of grilled and marinated chicken breast kebabs served with basmati rice and garlic aioli sauce, was mouth-watering.

We ended up having the cheesecake brule and the pistachio baklava for dessert.

Almost too pretty to eat, with just one bite we discovered that the only word we could use to describe both desserts was ?amazing.? We both agreed that the cheesecake was the best we?ve ever tasted.

In one of the best Rochester restaurants we?ve ever dined in, our evening was the perfect combination of fantastic food and service.

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