Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tapas with a Twist

I've come to realize that the only reasons I ever go up to Tenleytown are going to Café Olé, the Container Store, or a fortunate combination of both.

Café Olé is not a big place, but it doesn't feel cramped. It offers outdoor seating (though you need to make sure the weather is worth it, otherwise all that it has to offer is a panoramic view of the traffic on Wisconsin Avenue and some interesting light fixtures). The staff is corteous and accomodating and the servers are always quick with suggestions that feel more like actual favorites than a way to push the pricier items on the menu. The full wine list is available by the glass and the Sangria by the pitcher tastes homemade - tang that doesn't sacrifice the body and texture that doesn't overwhelm.

The one mezze I always order is the Shepherd's Pie Ole - a beef stew topped with mashed potatoes and cheddar cheese that has a taste of clove/cinammon/apples that I have yet to figure out. I was there last week with friends who had never been, so I ordered the cold and hot samplers and asked for seconds of what they liked best: the Tagine of Lamb (presented warm and over a bed of Israeli Couscous and Risotto, and rounded the order off with some Tel Aviv Nachos (with Hummus and Smoked Salmon in lieu of chesse-product).

I have yet to try the entrées (quite a feat considering I've been going to this restaurant for almost 2 years), perhaps because the kabobs remind me of food you can get elsewhere. The desert offerings - a lone pastry case perched in front of the kitchen has yet to tempt me. We opted for skipping dessert and taking the birthday girl to Love Café instead - portion wise, cupcakes are mezze for the pastry set.

Café Olé
4000 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Cafe Ole on Urbanspoon

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