Arlington, VA

You can still order chicken cacciatore and shrimp scampi at the former Pines of Italy restaurant at 237 North Glebe Road. But now you can also have it with baba ghannouj, chicken schwarma and baklava.

Cleopatra’s Mediterranean Bistro opened in March with little fanfare outside the immediate neighborhood and the local Arabic community. Serving up Middle Eastern food in addition to Italian carryovers from Pines of Italy, Cleopatra’s is as eclectic as it is unassuming. For those who care to indulge, there’s also a bar.

Cleopatra’s prices are exceedingly reasonable, and there are coupons available online to make a visit even more affordable.

During Ramadan (which runs through Sept. 10) the restaurant is offering a $9.95 Iftar buffet that features all-you-can-eat meat, seafood and vegetable dishes.

When Ramadan ends, lunch service will resume, as will the four-night-per-week live music and belly dancing and the late-night live entertainment on weekends.

Owner Sami Khan keeps Cleopatra’s open until 4:00 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. He says many young people will stop by after coming back from the downtown clubs. The restaurant usually draws a weekend crowd of about 100 people, mostly Middle Eastern and mostly in their 30s, he says.

More photos, after the jump.

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