Last week was Baltimore Restaurant Week, and Xani and I were eager to take advantage of the excuse to dine out multiple times in one week at some of the best restaurants in our fair city.
Early in the week, I went to dinner at Tabrizi's with Xani and law school buddies Veronica and Kerry (you may remember them from when we went to the Helmand). Tabrizi's is a relatively new Greek/Mediterranean restaurant off of Key Highway and their Restaurant Week menu looked delicious, so we decided to try it out.
We ordered a bottle of Cotes du Rhone and settled into our table, which was located in the middle of the dining area.
We had a great server who was a good sport and put up with our antics with grace and style (including one instance where he was clearing our plates just as Xani was saying, "this is why I need a gun."). One of the reasons I love dining with this crew, aside from the sparkling conversation, is that everyone loves to SHARE. So, we discussed what we wanted to order and dove right in.
For our first course, we had:
- Seared Ahi Tuna, encrusted with toasted sesame seeds, on streaks of aged soy-balsamic reduction and Wasabi cream. Served rare.
- Sautéed Baby Octopus and Calamari, tossed with spicy chili garlic sauce, garnished with teardrop tomato relish and lemon zest
- Fried Brie, with blackberry coulis and crunchy parsley
- Moroccan Chicken Wings, tossed in pomegranate chili sauce, served with sour cream-Gorgonzola dip
Moroccan Chicken Wings
Octopus and Calamari
Everything was great, but my favorites were probably the sauteed octopus and calamari and the chicken wings. The sauce on the calamari and octopus was sweet and spicy and really woke up the palate. Also, everything was cooked perfectly and nothing was tough or rubbery. The chicken wings were also awesome. They were really crispy and delicious with a sweet sauce on the outside, which went well with the gorgonzola cheese sauce on the side.
For our main course, we ordered:
- Lamb Kebobs, Glazed with veal reduction served with basmati rice, fresh sauteed organic vegetables and pine nuts
- Calves Liver, Pan fried with shallots, Chanterelle mushrooms, finished with creamy Dijon mustard reduction, served with fingerling potatoes and seasonal vegetables
- Muscovy Duck Breast, In a thyme veal stock, accompanied by Chanterelle mushrooms and baby vegetables
- Chicken Casablanca, Grilled sesame chicken kebobs with a Middle Eastern dry rub, served over basmati rice, vegetables, demi-glace and pine nuts
First, I must note that this was an insane amount of food! It's not often during Restaurant Week that restaurants are shelling out such huge portions, so it was a pleasant surprise. Favorites for this course include the duck and the liver. The duck was superb - perfectly cooked - and was served with delicious sauteed Chanterelle mushrooms. The liver was a pleasant surprise to see on the menu, and I was glad we tried it. It wasn't too livery, but the sauce was a little much (too creamy, I think).
For dessert, we tried all four of their desserts:
- Creme Brulee
- White and Dark Chocolate Mousse
- Assortment of Sorbets (mango, raspberry, lemon)
We of course also got coffee or coffee-related drinks. Xani got Turkish Coffee, Veronica got a cappuccino, Kerry got a latte, and I got good ol' regular coffee.
White Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Mousses (Mice?)
Trio of Sorbets
Turkish Coffee for Xani - she loves those tiny cups and spoons!
Creme Brulee and EP's Coffee
The sorbets were so deliciously sweet and bright, they may have been my favorite. However, we were really surprised by the mousses (mice?) - the white chocolate mousse had a really subtle, lovely white chocolate flavor, and was really light and airy. The dark chocolate mousse, on the other hand, was not that sweet and had a strange texture. The baklava had good flavor but it was a little doughy from too much filo on the bottom. The creme brulee was fine but now I'm addicted to creme brulee cheesecake so the real thing just doesn't do it for me anymore!
While not every dish was a total hit, there were definitely enough dishes that would make me come back and give it another shot with their full menu at hand. I'm sure it's a really fun place to go during the summer since the dining room sits right on the Baltimore Harbor.
It was a great meal to kick off Restaurant Week! Stay tuned for a handful of other posts about our RW dining experiences...
ps. I just saw on their website that Tabrizi's has extended their RW menu for the entire month of February! So, if you are looking for a good meal at a decent price, check this place out.