Sunday, September 23, 2012

Saturday Splurge: Miriam (Brooklyn, NY)

I'm lucky enough to live one block from Miriam. I'm not exaggerating - one block - that's it! It takes me half a minute to get there, which means I get a jump on all the best tables. For girl's night this week, Arionna (of Harlem Food Local) and I decided to set up camp at the huge communal table at the front of the restaurant. This is the best spot in the house because you get to people watch while you dine. And let me tell you, Park Slope's got some very, very interesting characters. 

It was Ari's first time to the restaurant. Truth be told, I always get a little nervous introducing Ari to a new restaurant. For one thing, she's one of the best cooks north of the Mason-Dixon line. But that's not all... Ari is also very particular about where her food comes from, what the labor conditions were like, etc. I admire her dedication, but it's taken me years to get on the same page. She has incredible patience, clearly. 

I'm pretty sure Ari loved Miriam from the moment she sat down. Miriam is an Israeli restaurant, offering generous main courses, meze (small dishes for sharing) and a wonderful selection of wine. The atmosphere is a huge part of the appeal. It's dark, but warmly lit with small lanterns. It has large wooden tables, brick walls and a glass front so that you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. Oh, and the servers are always very attentive. That counts for something in my book!

Ari and I decided to share a few meze (4 meze for $12) and a salad. If you can make it there before happy hour ends at 7 pm, they even have 2-for-1 meze. As it stood, our bill was still only $21 for dinner. Now that's a dinner my wallet can get behind!

The pictures never do the food justice (especially at night), but I can't NOT show you our spread! It was too good...

We started with the falafel with green tahini sauce...

Then onto the merges, a spicy Moroccan sausage with green tahini sauce...

Next up, the burekas, a flaky pastry stuffed with roasted peppers, eggplant, basil and feta cheese with a skordalia dipping sauce...

And finally, the kadayif wrapped shrimp with harissa aioli...

I meant to order my favorite, the goat cheese salad, but had a major brain fart and ordered the Mediterranean salad accidentally. Not to worry though, it was excellent too! Just look at that beautiful piece of art on a plate!

Miriam is one of my go-to spots in Park Slope. It offers something offbeat for the palate. The food is always fresh and the flavors are always colorful and satisfying. I highly recommend an intimate dinner at Miriam or an early weekend brunch. And by 'early', I mean early. They are one of the few places in Park Slope with a hungry mob congregating outside on Saturday and Sunday. That's how you know it's good!

79 Fifth Avenue (at Prospect Place)
Brooklyn, NY 11217

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