by Erin and Xani
On Tuesday, we took advantage of Baltimore Restaurant Week and went to Mezze, a restaurant in Fells Point. Mezze is a tapas place but the tapas are more Mediterranean than Spanish, so we were looking forward to the new spin on something which we love so much.
Now usually, the Restaurant Week deal is that you get three courses for $30, but at Mezze they switched it up a bit. We got 10 different tapas (plus dessert) for the same $30, which turned out to be a huge amount of really good food, so we feel we got quite the deal!
Here was the menu for Restaurant Week:
Pureed chickpeas and tahini sauce seasoned with garlic and cumin
Farm stead yogurt mixed with roasted garlic, cucumber, dill and imported olive oil
Tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet onions, cubanelle peppers, capers and imported feta cheese tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette
Stuffed with aromatic rice, pine nuts, parsley and onions, topped with tzatziki sauce
Traditional ground chickpea and fava bean cake with tahini sauce, chopped tomato and parsley
Spinach with imported feta cheese and fresh herbs, wrapped in phyllo
Stuffed with aromatic rice, mushrooms, onions and a variety of Mediterranean cheeses
Mediterranean style grilled marinated chicken and vegetables
served with garlic potato puree
Broiled hand picked crabmeat cakes
The restaurant itself is a very interesting, warm space, and we were greeted at the door by a hostess and some other folks. We were seated upstairs (and had a great view of the open kitchen from the steps) and got a good table for two, big enough for all the delicious dishes we were about to enjoy.
We started the meal with some drinks. Xani got a glass of wine (dry Rosé) and Erin got a glass of sangria.
The waiter quickly brought large bowls of hummus and the tzatziki (even before our drinks!), which were served with spiced, toasted pita wedges. The hummus was served with olives and a drizzle of olive oil, and it was good but not amazing. The tzatziki was delicious - creamy and tangy with fresh herbs and cucumbers and onions running through it.
Next we got the Village Salad, which was delicious and fresh, with yummy vegetables and a herby, lemony vinaigrette, and lots of feta cheese.
Next, they brought us a plate with several items (2 of each - they're so thoughtful): Stuffed Peppers, Stuffed Grape Leaves, and Spinach Pie (or spanikopita for those of us who wish we spoke Greek). The peppers were good - the peppers themselves had a mild flavor and the rice was good, though we don't recall any Mediterranean cheeses or mushrooms in the stuffing, as was billed on the menu...hmmm. False advertising! Don't joke around about cheese! Um...anyway...
The spanikopita was good but it was SO HOT that we couldn't eat it until a while later. The stuffed grape leaves (aka dolmades) were excellent! They are a favorite of ours and they definitely hit the spot. The rice was well-seasoned and had lots of herbs, and you could tell they were hand-made.
Next came our last plate of savory foods, which included the Falafel, the Chicken Kebab, the Baby Lamb Chops, and the Crab Cakes. The falafels were delicious - crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside (though Xani thought they were just a little too mushy on the inside). While they were good, they weren't nearly as good as REAL falafels (and by that I mean Israeli falafels gotten off a street-cart in the middle of Tel Aviv), but they were still very nice.
Next we tried the chicken kebabs, which were just grilled chicken with vegetables. The chicken was well-cooked and seasoned. This dish was fine but boring-- I guess they put it in there for people who just HAVE to have chicken!
The lamb chops, however, were excellent! They were perfectly cooked and delicious, and teeny tiny!
Lastly we had the Crab Cakes, which were absolutely delicious with big pieces of crab and not too much filler (spoken like a true Marylander) and broiled, not fried.
Lastly, we had a bit of dessert, which included a huge piece of baklava, and a little bit of Kataifi, which was a sort of crepe-like dough with a banana custard filling. Erin liked the baklava - it was sweet with lots of nuts and layers and layers of filo; Xani, on the other hand, did not like the baklava as she has serious beef with honey. The kataifi was okay - the banana filling was not very banana-y but it was nice otherwise.
Overall, it was a lovely experience at Mezze, and we had a really friendly waiter and timely service. We would definitely recommend it for Restaurant Week, and we are looking forward to visiting again to try out their traditional menu. Opa!
E & X