Dining With Denise Neil

This Wichita restaurant is long gone, but now the owner is sharing most of its recipes

Ilham Saad misses her restaurant — Byblos, which she ran until 2016 at 3088 W. 13th Street.

She misses her customers. She misses cooking.

But now, she’s found a way to reconnect with the life she misses and make her former customers happy at the same time.

Saad, who opened Byblos in 1989 with her late husband, Kamal, was known for her lemony hummus, her tangy tabouli and her superior shawarma. She’s just published a cookbook called “Cooking with Inspiration: Lebanese Cuisine” that includes most of her most popular recipes from the restaurant, which she sold to Rania Taha and Bashar Mahanweh two years ago. (The space is now the home base for food truck Gaga’s Grub and where owner Dustin Presley puts on private dinners.)

She printed the book herself, and now she’s working on getting it out around town.

“After I closed Byblos, so many people said, ‘I don’t know what you did to us. You closed Byblos and now I can’t find any good, healthy food,’” she said.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.