Zare at the Fly Trap

I am certainly a lucky person this week; a variety of visiting friends are insisting on taking me out to eat so I will have lots of reports this week…

Monday’s adventure was (finally) experiencing Zare’s Monday Meatball Madness with the Divine Miss Spieler. We got to experience a variety of tastes before the meatball arrived, including several appetizers;

Smoked trout on cucumber “linguini’ with dilled creme fraiche. This was an early favorite, both Miss S and I adoring the coolness of the dressing with the smoked fish and lovely cucumber strips (we are both cucumber fans).

The “pistachio meatball” is a small appetizer but with a huge taste; a harrisa/honey/pomegranate glaze which is just divine in its sticky sweet-spiceness.

The cinnamon-braised lamb’s tongue with apple chutney and chestnuts. God, I love this dish…. Perfectly tender tongue and the flavors of fruit and spice juxtaposes what becomes umami in the chestnuts. Lovely.

Spice-roasted marrow bones served with bergamot preserves, Persian baby pickles, fresh greens and toast. You know, Bix’s marrow bones used to be my favorite, but these have surpassed that. The spice is very subtle and the bergamot preserves, which could be sickly sweet is just a great, clean taste that helps cleanse the palate to the Persian pickle which has quite a bite.

One entrée we shared was the Moroccan-spiced Salmon with toasted fregola, seasonal vegetables, and cucumber raita. Again, the brightness of cucumber and dill complemented the ras al hanout compote with some of the best Salmon I’ve had in ages. I admit to saving a rather large portion of this to have for breakfast the next day and was not disappointed.

Then there was The Meatball. Six- or eight-inches in diameter, ours was stuffed with two small lamb chops. Barely swimming in a light broth, the meatball was surrounded with a few slices of oven-roasted tomatoes and wild mushrooms. The Meatball had pinenuts, spices, and was so tender and flavorful. There was obviously going to be leftovers and the neighboring table advised eating it cold, on a sandwich. They were right.

Two desserts were shared; a goat-cheese cheesecake and ….. wait for it ….. Fried Dough! Hoorah! Sing praises to the heavens…. What are called “fried milk torrijas” these long, rectangle delights might be the second best hunk of fried dough I’ve found in the city (Piperade’s is a nudge higher on my Fried Dough Scale of ecstasy, but not by much).

What a grand night — and what encouragement for me to get there more often.
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