veggie bastilla/basteeya at aziza?
- augustiner Jan 8, 2008 03:12 AM
i had my first, long delayed dinner at aziza tonight. i don't feel i have that much to add to the many reports and recommendations you can find here, but yes i enjoyed it very much. well, except the music was awful...
but while eating there i thought of specific friends, many vegetarian, who i think would greatly appreciate a meal here. i had the prix fixe tonight, which includes the bastilla as one of the five courses. the menu indicates that a vegetarian version is available. can anyone tell me about this? i want to bring some friends here and i think the prix fixe is a good option, but with this being an inevitable third course, i'd like to know how the veggie version plays out.
ok so a quick report: amazing carrot soup with blood orange wedges and pink peppercorns, tasty but not memorable spreads with good grilled flat breads: i think eggplant with aged balsamic , yogurt dip, and a pomegranate molasses piquillo pepper spread. tasty merguez sausages with a dip made of fromage blanc among other things, can't remember. a wonderful root veggie couscous (is it true they make the couscous in-house?), with carrot, parsnip or turnip, onion, raisins, and almonds. lamb chop with mint sauce on a surprising bed of chard, which was a bit salty but still outstanding, sweetened with a beet reduction, if i remember correctly. the bastilla, or basteeya, of course, which i was grateful wasn't too sweet. and dessert...well i had black cardamom ice cream, pear galette cookie, and hibiscus syrup. altogether it was good, but the ice cream itself seemed too...floral. i think i just like simple flavors in desserts.
back to the point, i think this would be an outstanding place to take veggie friends, but i'd like to know about that veggie basteeya/bastilla before going back to the set menu. especially since i felt that the spreads with flatbread was hardly the most enticing part of the salads/starters menu, and we specifically requested the sausage, so i don't know what the chef would have sent out if we hadn't.
That's an interesting question. I've made veggie bastilla using julienned firm tofu instead of chicken with excellent results; I can also imagine doing it with some kind of root vegetable. Basically, you just need something to absorb the spices and aromatics. I'm interested to find out how Aziza does it (presumably not with tofu).
I treated my SO to a birthday dinner at Aziza last year. We're both vegetarians, and we had a lovely evening, including a vegan lentil soup, salad of avocado and grapefruit, bodega bay cheese and flatbreads, and the basteeya. I think the veggie version was filled with almonds, dates, and some filling I can't quite remember. Mushrooms? What I DO remember is it was sweet, savory, and filling. It was truly an experience. The basteeya can probably feed 2-4 people. We were too full at the end, but the chef was kind of enough to send out a complimentary slice of pistachio cake (adorned beautifully with chocolate birthday wishes on the plate) anyway! So to wrap up, we, as two very picky veggies, thoroughly enjoyed our meal and would go back in a heartbeat.
I went with two other people, one of whom doesn't eat chicken, so two of us shared the chicken one and one had an individual vegetarian one. She liked it a lot, but I can't remember exactly what was in it.
I had the veggie bastilla and the baked giant lima beans at a recent dinner at Aziza and absolutely loved both - shared a bottle of the Amity organic Pinot Noir and went on to purchase a case I loved it so much.