Tag Archives: new restaurants

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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Mistero Bar and Italian Grille

Yes, the charming little spot at 18 Market Space (that once housed La Paz) is occupied again. Mistero Bar and Italian Grille had their soft opening last night so I mosied over to buy myself dinner and check out the new kid on the block.

I snagged  a stool at the bar and the bartender, Matt, quickly took my drink order. After lingering over the menu for a bit and enjoying a few sips of my Manhattan, I decided to start with some bruschetta.

Mistero BruschettaBruschetta servingButtery, toasted Italian bread with marinated tomatoes, greens, shaved Parmesan and balsamic glaze. I didn’t intend to, but it was so good I ate the entire appetizer. Despite the big bowl of Fettuccine Giotto being prepared for me in the kitchen.Fettuccine Giotto

a forkful of Fettuccine GiottoEgg noodle pasta, char grilled chicken and fresh broccoli all covered in Parmesan Alfredo sauce. It was exactly what I wanted and exactly what you think of when you order fettuccine with Alfredo sauce. I would have cleaned my plate, but a couple sitting down the bar from me had ordered some tiramisu for dessert and it just looked too good to pass up.

tiramisu first bite

savoring the last bites of tiramisuIt was a luscious dessert,  very bold in chocolate and espresso flavors and pleasantly rich. The couple who inspired me to order this had it right, split this with someone you like.

I was incredibly pleased with my meal and the service. I was also lucky enough to have some very pleasant folks sitting at the bar with me. I headed home around 7:30, and it had just started to pick up. I predict this is going to be a very popular spot. Next time I visit I will definitely have the boyfriend in tow and will make sure to check out the second floor. The Grand Opening is being celebrated today with doors opening at 11 am. And it is Friday, why not head over for lunch or dinner to kick off your weekend?

front view

Mistero Mission Statement

At Mistero we have a very clear and precise mission …

To impress our guests by giving them the highest degree of service possible and by providing them with the freshest, finest & good quality food at reasonable prices, in a soothing and comfortable environment. 

We’d like to think of our guests as visitors to our humble kitchen … our home, where we welcome you as we do our family and closest friends.

Relax, sit back, and allow the tastes and libations of Italy to take you on a delectable adventure, not so far away from your own home.