Friday, October 26, 2007

Veranda = Yum

So the Mrs. and I finally had a chance to scope out Veranda last night. Normally, going out on a chilly, drizzly Thursday evening in October to a restaurant that has only been open for two days isn't at the top of our list, but I am happy to report that it was worth itthere were positives all around.

First of all, the space is really well done. We sat at the bar, and they had a couple of tables up front, with more in the back and around the kitchen in the dining area. Kostas the bartender was very friendly, and was more than happy to serve us our Chimay and Allagash. (Chimay, Allagash and Yeungling appeared to be the beers they had on tap, but they seemed to have many more in bottles including pumpkin ale, my personal favorite).

We were initially disappointed because we were told that the first two items we wanted to order, the dolmades and the pita pizza, were unavailable. Drat. However, as we were making up our minds about alternative selections, Paul, the chef, happened to come out and strike up a conversation with us. Lo and behold, it turns out that he had one order of dolmades left, as well as enough ingredients for the pizza. (I guess it pays to talk to the chef, eh?)

Both, it turns out, were fabulous. Mrs. 14th & You who happens to be half Greek and thus a fine judge of the quality of such foods deemed the dolmades to be exemplary. I had to agree. The pita pizza was a nice plate of salty goodness with feta, tomatoes, olives and other spices. Both are definitely recommended. Unfortunately, neither of us were overly hungry, so we stopped there. Actually, that's not entirely accurate as we DID save room for the tiramisu, which was also fabulous.

More than anything though, what I liked most about Veranda was the neighborhood feel it had. From the wonderfully pleasant hostess who welcomed us to the restaurant (I only know her as a friend of Alex, one of the owners, and unfortunately did not get her name), to the friendly people whom we met who live down the street from us and also have a fondness for Lalibela, to the overall coziness of the place, everything seemed about right. It was precisely the kind of atmosphere that can only be generated at a local neighborhood establishment. The food was a little slow in getting out to us, but that is a minor complaint considering that the place has only been "officially" open for two days. In fact, I'd consider the service and quality excellent for an establishment that has only been around for such a short time.

So, long post short, if you haven't yet been able to check it out, try to make your way over to 11th and P sometime this weekend and sample what Veranda has going on. We run the risk of potentially becoming regulars at the place, and it's great to have them around.

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