Monday, July 25, 2011

made for mezze

I am, and always have been, a three square meals kind of gal. I do enjoy snacks and have even been known to ruin my appetite before dinner, but I would prefer to forever be hungry as I sat down to the table and satisfied as I stood up from it.
With that said, I have utmost appreciation for the kinds of meals that come in courses and/or parts. I like to excite my palate with distinct yet compatible flavors and textures. The last few weeks have been especially fantastic in this regard. 
We'll ignore the fact that it took all this time for me to share them with you :). (Oh, summer and your fun.) First recap: the Cupping Room Café
My friend, Steph and I met up here after work for a drink and dinner courtesy of ScoutMob. Despite having wandered in there once before with Sofia, I was still impressed with the quaint space. It's adorable and the service is fantastic. I ordered Rosemary's refreshing Lemonade (gin, housemade rosemary syrup, lemon juice) and a salad to start.
And for my entrée, a Middle Eastern platter of hummus, babaganoush, chopped marinated vegetables and homemade pita. Each bite hit the spot. It's also worth noting that we were in the pleasant company of a speed-dating event which brought people-watching to a whole new level. Although I can't promise this entertainment every evening, I do know that they often feature live music as well.
Second recap: Balade. It has been so long since I've dined at a Lebanese restaurant (let alone my favorite one in Strasbourg), and I've never been to a Lebanese Pitza & Grill, but I was most excited to meet Anna who was visiting us for the weekend.
Her, Leslie, Katie and I  split the fatayir with spinach and feta (2 photos above) and each ordered the Vegetarian Mazmeez so that we could "create our own dreamy vegetarian ensemble." After much deliberation, I chose the hummus (classic goodness), falafal (surprisingly unique), tabbouleh (high in parsley rather than bulghar) and warak einab (delicious homemade-style grape leaves, stuffed with chickpeas, tomatoes, parsley and rice).
Following our meal, we treated ourselves to vegan ice cream at Lulu's Sweet Apothecary and fabulous tequila cocktails at Ella Lounge. Both were necessary and very much enjoyed. I love that these ladies agreed.
Most recently, the third recap: St. Germain spritzers and tapas for a couple more New York foodie bloggers hosted by the lovely Rebecca.
Each of us contributed a dish or two resulting in a gorgeous spread of: swiss chard with dried apricots and pumpkin seeds, cheeses (including one made from Chimay), curried carrot dip, spiced nuts, hummus, carrots, black bean dip, crackers, a variety of breads, roasted peaches with goat cheese, (a la Jenna via Leslie), mixed berries and dark chocolate. Sure, I'll admit that I enjoy a sandwich every now and again, but I have yet to figure out the appeal of a day of snacks and stews.


  1. If there is one thing I can eat the rest of my life it's Mezze- absolutely delicious! If you ever travel to any of the Arab countries you need to try the variety they have there- so many more incredible options in addition to the classics

  2. I'm also a "3 square meals" kind of gal, but sometimes bites here and there just can't be passed up! Just now I was in my old neighborhood and HAD to go into my favorite bakery for a pastry, despite just having breakfast. Pure comfort to me.

    My friend and I used to go to Cupping Room quite a bit when we were in high school; she lives in SoHo and it was our go-to spot for Chai lattes, before they became all the rage. Never saw any speed-dating events there, though!

  3. I, too, love a multi-course meal. If I could only dine on one cuisine, I think it would be Middle Eastern tapas/mezze. YUM! Hope I get to see you soon, I need details about where you were this weekend ;)

  4. Mmmm I could go for a repeat of that Balade plate RIGHT now.

  5. I'm the same way! Three large meals are somehow the most fulfilling in my mind. Balade looks so yummy, I must get there!! And Cupping Room Cafe was adorable - loved that band that was playing when we were there! What fun.

  6. saltwatercoffee: So glad you agree! I really have to travel to that region someday...

    Katie: True story! And, haha, you're such a trend setter :) I'll have to go back for chai lattes.

    Megan (The Runner's Kitchen): I would have to agree. Hope to see you soon too!

    Anna: Me. too.

    Sofia: And I love that about you. You need to go to Balade and I'd like to figure out who was playing the last time we were at Cupping Room Café. Also, let's dine together soon!


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