There’s a new "Sherif" in town… Sherif Elkhyati, that is.
Elkhyati opened his restaurant -- NorFay Café -- last Monday, Oct. 17, at 47 S. Main St. in downtown Nazareth.
NorFay Café, which can be found two doors down from the , is a small eatery, but not cramped; the eight tables in a dining room with contemporary design make it feel more like a bistro than anything.
In fact, anyone who was familiar with the previous incarnation of the same address -- Bistro on Main -- will be surprised at what the new owners have changed -- which is, in short, everything. From the ceiling to the lighting to the floors, nothing was left untouched in the transition.
Elkhyati, who has been a chef for roughly 10 years, greets customers with a handshake and asks how they are. Although he lives in Allentown, he was excited to open his first restaurant in Nazareth.
“I was driving by with some friends… I don’t remember why I was here, but it was very nice, and I saw that this place was empty,” Elkhyati said. “I found a lot of support from the people here.”
“He made the decision within 24 hours,” said his wife, Mary, who helps run the restaurant.
NorFay Café, for now, is only open for breakfast and lunch, serving up familiar cuisine with a Mediterranean twist, dishes like the Mediterranean omelet, which is stuffed with olives, spinach, feta cheese and sautéed onions.
For lunch, NorFay offers wraps, sandwiches, salads and burgers, either dine-in or to-go.
“Everything is done from scratch,” said Regina Hagemes, the restaurant’s sous chef and Elkhyati’s mother-in-law. “Some places freeze their food. We don’t do that.”
“I don’t even have a microwave,” Elkhyati added. “It ruins the food.”
People are already talking about NorFay; Elyssia and Ron Mathias, who own and operate in Nazareth, had nothing but good things to say.
“The redesigned space lends to a welcoming atmosphere that draws you in,” Elyssia said. “What a welcome addition to Nazareth’s downtown!”
And for anyone wondering, the name NorFay comes from the names of Elkhyati’s two young daughters -- Nora and Saphia, whose nickname is Faya.
NorFay Café is open seven days a week for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., although weekend hours are subject to change as the owners experiment with what works. If things go well, Elkhyati said he will consider opening for dinner hours a few nights a week.