Sunday, June 24, 2018

Maydān

Maydān tells the story of owner Rose Previte's travels, from Tangier to Tehran and Batumi to Beirut and brings the communal "town square" to DC.  Featuring dips, spreads, salads, condiments, roasted and grilled meats, and seafood coming together in unison, the centerpiece of every table is the bread.  Made to order in Maydān’s clay ovens, the bread brings the meal together and bread brings people together. Closest Metro is U Street/Cardozo.

Washington DC's Biz Journal notes: "Michelle Obama has been there. It was a James Beard Award semifinalist. And now Maydan is one of Food & Wine magazine's 10 best restaurants in 2018. The restaurant, which opened in November 2017 has quickly earned a reputation as a hidden gem serving up Middle Eastern and Arabic fare in an expansive venue — all surrounding an 800-degree fire pit. “This fire is the heart and hearth of Maydan and the best things to eat pass through it,” Food & Wine's Jordana Rothman writes."


As soon as we stepped inside, I could feel the vibrating buzz of the patrons and loved the ambience.  We sat upstairs and though we arrived fairly early at 5:45pm, it was already packed with diners.  We started with a bottle of their house red wine and perused the menu.  Everything looked great, but we settled to start with Beet Borani with yogurt, dill, and black sesame. We devoured this bright purple spread with a smaller side of tomato jam and extra harissa sauce.


I insisted we also try the Halloumi with peanut dukkah, an Egyptian spice blend, and honey. Cheese, dips, bread, and wine -- I could have stopped right there.  I was in heaven.


Nevertheless we had to try something from the fire, so we ordered the Eggplant with Georgian walnut sauce and pomegranate molasses.  The roasted flavor was prominent.


Another vegetable we tried were the Carrots that were grilled simply with lemon and harissa.  The spice countered the natural sweetness of the root vegetable.


The Squid were chewy and served with chermoula sauce - a mixture of various herbs with olive oil.


Finally, Keith tried the Aleppo - a lamb kebab with pistachio and pickled onions.  Keith had expected more chunk-style meat, but this version was ground like a long meatball.  He ordered a small side of labneh (yogurt and mint) to go with it.

Overall, we had an enjoyable Middle Eastern meal at Maydān and it really peeked our interest to visit that part of the world someday.

Total Rating: 4
Food: 4, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4

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