Ethiopian Delight: Ghenet in Nolita
Ghenet Restaurant in Nolita New York City's Manhattan Nolita (north of Little Italy) is home to one of our favorite places on Manhattan, Ghenet Restaurant. It's the perfect eatery for (friendly, non-germophobic) relatives and close friends as it is traditional eat-with-your-hands Ethiopian. Participants gather around a huge plate of communal fare and dig in with injera, a spongy, sourdough flatbread/food scooper.

Our daughters, The Piglet and Decibel, and I found ourselves sitting next to a couple on a disastrous first date. It was painful actually, the guy, clearly attempting to impress, had grossly overestimated the girl's ability to try new things. From the moment they were seated her eyes, huge with terror, roamed the restaurant taking in the mass reaching and

scooping. When their plate arrived, she panicked and frantically began moving her portion away from the guy--thus proving that this sort of intimate eating is NOT for everyone. Having had their fair share of disastrous first dates, The Piglet and Decibel both stored this away for future reference.

Appetizers (the three must-haves)

--little folded up flags of pastry filled with spicy veggies or meat

Engouday Tibs--sauteed mushrooms with mild spices

Kategna--crisp injera with coated with berere (a combo of chili pepper and spices) and topped with a mild, crumbled white cheese. Warning: REALLY spicy (Decibel said it tasted kinda like pizza)

Get the Combination Entrees
We ordered the 2 meat/4 veggies option. The food arrived on a huge platter lined with injera. Large dollops of meats and veggies in savory sauces varying from tangy and mild to exquisitely spicy. We had prime rib and chicken, collard greens, lentils, spicy beans and a cabbage, carrot and potato medley in a caramelized onion sauce. EVERY bit was sopped up and eaten with glee and adorned with snide conversation.


Sheba Te'j Honey Wine This wine is an ancient Ethiopian recipe, made from pure, organic honey. A bit daunting by itself--tastes like liquid honey, I'm guessing mead-esque. But pair it with the really spicy stuff and it takes on a whole new life!

Spiced Tea
Mmmmm...almost a latte situation with a big frothy head of milk

GypsyNester Guide: A quick tutorial on Ethiopian food

ingera--flatbread used as utensil

berbere--very common ingredient, a combo of chili pepper and spices

wett--basically "stew," but all very different depending on the meat or veggie--dollops are presented atop a ingera lined platter

tibs--sauteed meat or veggies


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