Tag Archives: dinner

Frederick’s Food Bloggers Meet & Dine at AYSE Meze

This past Saturday evening, some of the foodies of Frederick got a chance to meet and enjoy a taste of the new AYSE Meze. It was high time Frederick’s growing community of food bloggers/people who blog about food met and this dinner was hopefully the first of many similar events. It’s always nice to talk about all things blogging with some kindred spirits (and sit at a table where everyone’s cool with waiting the extra few minutes to snap the requisite pictures of the food.)

Becky of Becky Cooks and Tara of Lace and Grace have their recaps up already and the other bloggers who were able to make it to this inaugural meet-up included Liza of (a)Musing Foodie, Shannon of Shannon Morgan Creative  and Karen of 365 Frederick.

Pronounced EYE-sha, AYSE Meze is named after the late mother of one of the owners as well as their focus on meze cuisine (small plates). Their menu features items from Greek, Turkish and Lebanese Cuisine.

Drinks were of course the first order of business, several of us were feeling a red wine so we did the economical thing and ordered a bottle. Others tried some white wine and a pomegranate fizz.

Drinks on the table at AYZE Meze

We were all so busy chatting it took us a bit to order anything besides our beverages, but when we did we figured the dip and cheese sampler platters were a great way for us all to taste a little of everything.

AYZE Meze dip sampler

The spread included all 6 available dips,
Muhammara – red pepper, walnuts, pomegranate molasses
Babaganoush – eggplant, tahini, lemon, garlic
Hummus – chick pea, garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon
Pasa Ezmesi – feta, yogurt, biber, jalapeno, parsley
Gemlik Zeytin – black olives, pepper paste, feta, garlic
Tzatziki – cucumber, yogurt, garlic, dill, mint

AYZE Meze Cheese Sampler Appetizer

The cheese (peynir) sampler included,
Bulgarian Feta with olive oil, watermelon, jalapeno and mint
Grilled Haloumi with cyprus tomato jam, marcona almonds and sumac
Manouri with calmynra figs, honey, walnuts and sherry vinegar gel
Sigara Borekgi – phyllo wrapped feta and goat cheese with apricot spoon sweet

We were also very intrigued when another dinner party had a waiter light fire to a pan of cheese and clearly had to order some for ourselves.

AYZE Meze Saganaki Cheese

It’s called Saganaki and it’s kasseri cheese flamed with mezteca brandy and lemon … they also yell “Opa!” when igniting the flame.

When it was time to move past appetizers we were offered some very good suggestions by our server. I ultimately decided on the xtemia which is (huge) sea scallops served over sweet potato, fennel and a mint-mustard butter.

AYZE Meze Sea Scallops

There are no entree sized potions available on the menu as everything is offered as small plates (very similar to tapas). Another one I was able to snap a photo of was the kibbeh, beef and lamb bulgar fritters with pine nuts, golden raisins and and labneh (a type of cheese).

AYZE Meze Beef and Lamb Fritters

Dessert was skipped by no one. Among the table everyone ordered either the flowerless chocolate cake (cikolata kestane pastasi), turkish delights (lokum) or the coconut yogurt cake (yogurt tatlisi).

AYZE Meze Flowerless Chocolate Cake Dessert

AYSE Meze Coconut Yogurt Cake Dessert

Overall I was personally very pleased with the food and based on the fact that the restaurant was full when we left, I’d say others are coming to the came conclusion. As with any new restaurant there are some growing pains to work out, but I’m looking forward to returning to sample more.

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An Autumnish Salad and Easy Baked Cod

Our kitchen didn’t see a lot of action last week. One burner on the stove did though, as we frequently placed a pot on it to boil water for ramen. It was just one of those weeks. Sunday night rolled around however, and I was ready to get back to business.

I had a kale salad and roasted garlic topped cod in mind when I ventured to the grocery store on Sunday afternoon, but there was no lacinato kale to be found and I ended up having a better idea for the roasted head of garlic. (I also managed to turn the oven off while the garlic was roasting so it wasn’t actually done when it came time to serve dinner ;-).)

Autumn-ish Salad (inspired by the Tuscan Kale Salad from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook)

dinner salad with apples, dried cherries, cashews and homemade croutons

Dressing

1 small shallot chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup shredded Piave cheese (easily substituted with Parmesan Reggiano)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt and Pepper

To make the dressing blend the shallot, lemon juice, shredded cheese, olive oil, salt and pepper in a food processor or powerful blender.

Salad

1 bag of salad greens mix (I used an Italian blend with escarole, radicchio, and endive)
1 gala apple, chopped
1 cup cooked chickpeas, chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1-2 slices toasted multigrain bread torn into bite sized pieces

To make the salad toss all of the salad ingredients through the cashews together in a large bowl. Add in the dressing and toss again before topping with the bread slices.

Simply Roasted Cod

1 pound cod fillets (or another similar white fish)
a couple slices of lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter the bottom of a roasting pan or baking dish. Place the cod fillet(s) on the baking dish and lightly drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top. I used a garlic olive oil from Lebherz Olive Oil & Vinegar Emporium. Then top the fish with a few lemon slices and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. The fish will easily flake with a fork when it is done.

Fish and Salad on a dinner plate

What day of the week do you find yourself with the most time and/or desire to cook?

A little Tuesday night fun

It’s not very often nowadays that my concern for a good night’s sleep gets tossed aside. At least not on a weeknight. Last Tuesday however, was one of those exceptions. The bf and I headed down to Fells Point in Baltimore to support a friend and her band, Survival Society. Our friend is the super awesome bassist. They were playing at the 8×10 as part of a local band showcase presented by Bridging The Music.

While we were very excited to get to the venue and listen to some tunes, we were also excited to get to have dinner at local favorite, The Abbey Burger Bistro. Anywhere that has a burger order form that looks like this is totally awesome in my book.

Also awesome, crab dip covered tater tots.

Abbey Bistro Burger Crab Tater Tots

Rob ordered a standard black angus burger on a classic bun with Guinness cheddar cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, and sauteed onions.

Abbey Burger Bistro Burger

My order was a smoked angus burger with gran queso cheese (a Wisconsin manchego), an onion ring, fried egg, white truffle oil and chipotle mayonnaise on the classic toasted bun. It was glorious.

Smoked Angus Abbey Bistro burger

Abbey Bistro Burger and sweet potato fries

Abbey Bistro Burger sign

After thoroughly enjoying dinner it was time for some music. We got there just in time to hear the end of the second band’s set and Survival Society was up next.

Bridging the music showcase band line-up

Survivial Society at the 8x10

It was a late Tuesday night but completely worth all of the extra yawns on Wednesday.