Review Preview: Ranoush

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This week I visit Ranoush, the Syrian restaurant that opened in the former Saleem's space in the Delmar Loop.
The Delmar Loop has no shortage of colorful characters busking, begging, dressing up as clowns to hand out balloons and the Word of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, administering stress tests, shouting nonsense at no one specific, giving MetroLink a bad name, getting arrested or just plain hanging out, but if you happen by on a weekend evening, you might see something different: a belly dancer twirling and shaking among the patio tables outside the Syrian restaurant Ranoush.

Inside Ranoush, the belly dancer's performance is even more involved: She drapes a gossamer scarf around one lucky patron, claps a pair of hand cymbals in time with the music and -- briefly -- balances a sword on her head, wiggling all the while. If she isn't the most essential element of this two-month-old restaurant, she is the most visible sign of a place that's bringing a spark of life to a corner of the Loop that, for all the energy buzzing around it, has been rather drab in recent years.
Visit the Riverfront Times restaurant home page tomorrow evening or check back here Wednesday morning to see what I think.

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