Anyone try "Abyssinian" in Hartford (ethiopian)?
It opened this July on Farmington Ave in Hartford. I'll probably try it this weekend. Anyone been yet?
Wow hadn't heard of it. Have you tried the one in Boston (I'll spell it wrong but it's something like Asmara)? I was thrilled to try that one. The owner served us, chatted with us for a while and gave us some complimentary honey wine that she makes. Everything was fantastic and I've been dying to go back.
I lived in Asmara (Eritrea) for 18 months, 40+ years ago, when it was part of Ethiopia. The food is similar, but not quite the same as Ethiopian. Generally, it is much spicier and aromatic, and more Arabic-influenced. The national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea is a spicy (chicken, lamb, beef or vegetable) stew called "Wat" in the Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, area and "Zighney" in the Asmara area. It is served poured over a stack of very large pancakes made primarily of teff flour. In Eritrea, the flour mixture ferments, giving it a slightly sour taste and gray color. Locally, they call it "Tie-tie," but in both countries it's called "Injera." There was a local beer, "Melotti," that was perfect with it. Coffee (from the Ethiopian province of Kaffa) was strong, smokey and sweet, and served in tiny cups for a perfect finish.
I live in west-central New Hampshire, and Boston's only a couple hours away. If you get a chance, please post (or email) the address and phone number of the "Asmara" restaurant, and I've got to check it out. Thanks.
We tried it recently and enjoyed the experience. I'm not an avid fan of Ethiopian cuisine (or perhaps I've never had awesome Ethiopean food). Abyssinian has a fairly small menu, the food served was well-presented and fresh (although not intensely flavorful, on the whole-- is this typical?) and the beer was cold. Nice outdoor seating possibilities for next spring/summer.
My husband and I went there for New Year's Eve. It was our first time having this cuisine and the waiter was so gracious and kind helping us make choices and giving us tips on how to properly eat with the injera. We really enjoyed the meal, the lentils are amazing! I really liked too, the warm, simple decor, soft arabic background music.
(One warning though - unrelated to the restaurant -- parking there can be tough. Do not park in any private lot even if businesses are closed. We were one of several cars towed that evening.)
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the restaurant.
Regarding parking in the West End:
There is plenty of parking on Kenyon and Girard, which are the side streets running north from Farmington Avenue. Also, I think it's actually OK to park on the north side of Farmington itself, although nobody does so. I'm pretty sure that parking is permitted, but check the signs.