Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mezes, A Taste of Greece

File Mezes under Places I Should've Tried A Long Time Ago. It's close by, takes reservations via Opentable, and I adore this genre of food (Mediterranean small plates). Why we never made it here before I couldn't say, but I'm so glad we finally did. The food was fresh and delicious, the service friendly and attentive, and the ambiance warm and welcoming.

We were seated right in the window, which I loved because the foot traffic along Chestnut Street was fun to watch. However, once the food started arriving, my focus was definitely on the table. Our only issue was trying to decide what to order. Almost everything on the extensive vegetarian section of menu is also vegan, or can be easily made so by removing feta and/or yogurt, so narrowing it down was difficult. Eventually we went with 6 dishes which, with the complimentary bread and olive oil, was the perfect amount of food for us two gluttons.

First to arrive was the greek salad (sans feta) and the eggplant spread with pita. The salad had the perfect amount of oregeno and was refreshing and bright. In contrast, the eggplant spread was smokey and rich. Both were a wonderful start to the meal.

Next up we had these sweet and savory dolmas and perfectly grilled veggies. I was a little worried about the dolmas since they have raisins in them, but I have learned to trust the experts on this one. So good. The veggies came with a garlic tahini sauce, but we hardly touched it because they were so flavorful on their own.

Lastly, we got our gigantes beans and roasted beets. I absolutely love gigantes beans in almost any preparation, but this herbed tomato sauce was phenomenal. Definitely the highlight of a fantastic meal. Sadly, the beets were the one disappointment. Honestly, in a rush to get them to the table, I think the kitchen just forgot the salt and pepper. They were just plain under-seasoned, but I could see how they would be delicious, especially served atop wilted red chard as they were.

At the end of the meal, the older couple next to us leaned over and actually congratulated us on the accomplishment of cleaning our plates. We thanked them, and then proceeded to order dessert (him) and another glass of wine (me). Speaking of which, there was nothing but sorbet for us vegans on the dessert menu, but the wine list is great, and I really liked my choice: "The Offering" from Opine Vineyards.

Next time you're craving Greek food, I highly recommend grabbing your others and heading to Mezes. I know for a fact that we'll be back soon. Hope you had a great weekend, y'all!


Joan A Grealis said...

Sorry about those beets - they lookso delicious!

Sky said...

They were certainly pretty, but if anyone can appreciate undersalted food, I'm sure it's you!