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History

Overlooking the Orange Blossom Trail just as Lebanon itself overlooks the Mediterranean Sea, the Maraya restaurant is, some say, Orlando's best kept secret. With ingredients coming straight from the green Bekaa Valley, the Maraya first opened its doors to the public with its grand opening on February 23rd 2008 and has been running ever since, offering delicious Lebanese appetizers, entrees originating from all over the Mediterranean and delicious, mouth watering desserts straight from Maraya's kitchen.

After working in and managing restaurants all her life, Violette, always had plans for her own restaurant. Being fortunate enough to work side by side with the best chefs in South Lake Tahoe, Violette took all her hard earned experience and all her talent in food and beverage, Violette has succeeded in making the Maraya one of Orlando's best places to dine, and even taking the name Maraya from the Nevada desert, the Maraya itself is the name given for the desert wind.

The Maraya, in many instances, shares the same traits as the country where it gets most of its menu items. Lebanon was for a long period of time, and for some still is, the crossroads of the world. Where East meets West, where the sharp, acidic bite of Italian pesto meets the creamy garlic paste of Lebanese origin. French aromas fill your nostrils and the sight of the full liquor bar on your left fills your eyes as you enter the stand-alone building that Violette decorated from scratch.

Lebanon’s emblem is the cedar tree; one of the most important and ancient species of trees in the history of mankind, mentioned in the bible, the Torahs and the Kor’an. In fact, King Solomon’s Temple itself was built from a gift of Cedar trees from the Phoenician king of Lebanon. Also, the world’s first ship that sailed from Byblos (a very important Phoenician/Lebanese port and world’s oldest city) was also built from Cedar wood. The Lebanese have a history of innovation, as they were the ones that invented the alphabet, ships (and by consequence, commerce) and they were the first ones to discover clothing dye (Tyrian purple).

Using the best quality organic ingredients, Violette handpicked the items on the menu so that every country around the Mediterranean Sea has its representative. All countries occupy a proud space in the Maraya menu, all crowned under all American food. Just like America is a called a “salad bowl”, where all different ingredients and ethnicities combine to create one perfect dish, the Maraya also combines all kinds of Mediterranean food in its menu to create a unique dining experience.