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turkish restaurant week: meze

In spot on October 1, 2009 at 1:12 pm

in honor of turkish restaurant week here in dc, a group of fabulous ladies and i decided to try meze (in adams morgan, for you locals). we had a turkish food aficionado with us to explain everything, but the staff at meze was fabulously helpful, as well.

when they found out that we had never been there before, they offered us a 12-dish tasting menu option made up of “meze,” or small plates. at $25 a person, how could we resist?

(as a side note, tasting menus may be one of my favorite things in life. i love not having to choose and just letting the chef compose my meal for me. plus, i love when the waiter sets each dish down in front of me and explains it. i feel like a judge on iron chef. what an adventure!)

so let me take you on my own little tasting menu trip of meze:

first course – hummus, olive oil and warm bread. hard to go wrong.

mezebread

second course – salad with a basil vinaigrette

mezesalad

third course – these were like cold, unfried falafel. while my description may not sound appetizing, these were.

mezechickpea

fourth course – sigara boregi, goat cheese wrapped in phyllo and fried

mezecheese

fifth course – dolma, rice wrapped in grape leaves. you may have had this at a greek restaurant.

mezegrapeleaves

sixth course – mini lamb chops with jus and maybe the best mashed potatoes i’ve ever tasted

mezechop

alternative vegetarian sixth course – mixed veggie kabob

mezeveggieplate

seventh course – mini lamb meat ball or kofte (so good i ate half before i remembered to take a picture!)

mezelambball

alternative vegetarian seventh course – mixed plate

mezevaggieplate2

eighth course – bruschetta with lox and a tomato topping. (sorry it’s a horrible picture!)

mezebruschetta

nineth course – fried calamari, or kalamar, with a very light, delicate breading

mezecalamari

tenth course – chicken and beef kabobs (this time i ate the whole thing before i remembered my camera! here’s my neighbor’s plate)

mezekabob

eleventh course – baklavah bites

mezebaklavah

on a whole, besides loving the food, i was very pleased with the service and atmosphere of meze. as i said, the staff was impressively helpful and attentive, most notably in accommodating our vegetarian friend.

the food was delicious, and according to our turkish expert, fairly authentic. i would absolutely recommend meze to anyone, especially large groups, and suggest you consider the tasting menu!

don’t trust me? here’s what my fellow diners had to say:

“overall i really liked the place and the food.  the service was great aside from waiting for the bill for hours.  the food was really good – almost as good as [a turkish] grandmother’s cooking.  my favorite hands down was the bruschetta.  or the cigara boregi.  or the baklava.  okay, i didn’t have a favorite.  it was all really good!”

“i will definitely frequent meze. i’m really not a ‘dessert person,’ but after making my way through an incredible tasting menu, the baklava was an awesome finale!”

“i really enjoyed our dinner. the food was undoubtedly amazing, as was the service.  i loved that we were able to have a relaxing and long dinner without feeling rushed.  a truly european dining experience.”

“the tasting menu was spectacular, and even the dishes i couldn’t eat, as a vegetarian, looked wonderful.  the servers and kitchen staff were very accommodating and i was able to enjoy a delicious vegetarian option.  thanks, meze!”

“meze’s ‘taste’ menu was a great way to introduce a new type of cuisine into my life. i enjoyed trying small portions of each entree. while i may not have liked them all, because of my peculiar taste preference, i did appreciate the opportunity to be exposed to many new dishes. overall, it was a great way to spend a friday evening w/ some wonderful ladies!”

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