Tucked on the ground flooring of a cinder block constructing following to a row of dining establishments and a parking garage on Dryden Highway, Loumies’ glass storefront is at the heart of Collegetown’s excitement.

The pink and orange emblem on the window invites people in to delight in a heat plate of Levantine food stuff and a heat smile from lead chef Rania Kaldi.   

“I enjoy cooking. I enjoy inviting folks. I like meeting individuals,” she says. 

What started off as an curiosity for Rania –– she’s a previous marketing and advertising manager at luxury businesses in Dubai –– turned into a significant career shift that introduced her to Ithaca. Each job modify and move led her just one stage closer to her realizing her dreams of beginning a restaurant. 

Rania and Raed Kaldi pictured in their restaurant on a Friday afternoon.

Rania and Raed Kaldi: Team driving Loumies

A vacation to go to family members in upstate New York would sooner or later direct Rania to a significant go that would create Loumies as a burgeoning staple of Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and other Levantine cuisines, some of which replicate the recipes from Rania’s birthplace, Lebanon.  

“I fell in like (with Ithaca),” Rania explained. Its stunning blooming trees, change in pace from New York Town everyday living and the school technique are what sealed the offer, as she preferred a additional suitable schooling program for her 8-calendar year-aged. 

By Taba