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Ethiopian in Mount Kisco?

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NickM Jan 28, 2010 05:47 PM

Heard a rumor, from a local business, that an Ethiopian food place is supposedly poised to open in Mount Kisco, next to the great Jamaican place. Anyone know more?

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    kerryfood RE: NickM Feb 3, 2010 02:12 PM

    I heard the same thing from a friend, so I'm hopeful... I checked out the name on the building permit, and it didn't mean anything to me, but I can't remember it now. It would be an interesting addition to the area!

    2 Replies
    1. re: kerryfood
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      Solstice444 RE: kerryfood Feb 3, 2010 07:58 PM

      That would be wonderful, since as far as I know there aren't any Ethiopian restaurants in the Hudson Valley!

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        chipmonger RE: Solstice444 Feb 4, 2010 06:55 AM

        This is exciting news if true. Great cuisine, kids get to eat with their hands, and very social: everyone sharing the same huge plate. Love the njera, when the sauces soak in!

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      Pinnacle RE: NickM Feb 4, 2010 12:14 PM

      I hope no bubble is burst, but, at the Mt Kisco Post Office flyers hang on the wall announcing that the location will be a hot dog shop. The menu lists 20 or so versions ranging from plain to guacamole.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Pinnacle
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        wincountrygirl RE: Pinnacle Feb 4, 2010 04:57 PM

        Where in Mt. Kisco is this?

        1. re: wincountrygirl
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          NickM RE: wincountrygirl Feb 4, 2010 05:04 PM

          The location was supposedly the alley off South Moger, which has Starbucks at one end and Okinawa at the other end: one or two doors down from Taste of Jamaica, the Jamaican food place.

        2. re: Pinnacle
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          danac RE: Pinnacle Apr 15, 2010 10:17 PM

          I can't believe you saw flyers with that info. It couldn't be more wrong. It is definitely an Ethiopian Restaurant. It is opening soon. The name is Lalibela. Check out lalibelamountkisco.com...So psyched to try it out.

          1. re: danac
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            chipmonger RE: danac Apr 16, 2010 09:02 AM

            I'll be there too. This is a unique offering for Westchester, and in the northern part to boot!

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          randomdude RE: NickM Apr 26, 2010 01:02 PM

          I think Lalbela is open. Their webstie is up and when I walked by today the construction seemed to be done. Maybe I'll stop in after work to see if it is true.

          1 Reply
          1. re: randomdude
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            kerryfood RE: randomdude Apr 26, 2010 01:18 PM

            According to facebook, they open tomorrow - yay!

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            xecuchef RE: NickM Apr 29, 2010 07:51 AM

            Ok, went to Lalibela last night and well, here goes.............
            We arrived around 6:15 to an empty restaurant. We were greeted and seated right away.

            The decor is pretty sparse and the some of the pictures on the wall didnt look like anything resembling Ethiopia or its culture, but, what do I know. We were given the paper take out menus as the real menus had not arrived.

            The thing that really suprised me, is that many people are not familiar with Ethiopian foods and the proper way to eat it and the owner and waitstaff did not engage us in any conversation. I would have expected at least asking us if we had ever eaten this type of food, did we have any questions?? Nothing, just plopped down the paper menu and left. No finger bowls were offered so we had to use the restroom to wash our hands.

            They dont serve liquor yet so had a club soda which was poured from and 8oz bottle into a 16oz beer glass. Kind of looked cheap not to fill the glass or should have used a smaller glass. Not a big deal, just an observation.

            When we placed our order, we were still not asked if we had any questions. We ordered the combo platter and the Kitfo, rare. With the combo plate, you get a choice of 3 veggie options and I just asked the server to chose what she liked.

            I won;t go into detail about the menu items, you can check the menu online but suffice it to say that we were really dissappointed. The kitfo came out like overcooked hamburger meat and the other items lacked any type of heat(spice)even though we told her we liked the dishes spicy. There was a generous portion of food and more than enough for the 2 of us.

            One real pet peeve was that the table was waaay to small to accommodate the large platter of food, the injera and the drink glasses. We felt very closed in with no room for even the paper napkins that were stacked at the end of the table.

            On a personnal note, the injera was way to tangy for me. It really overpowered any flavor that the dishes had. FYI- I have eaten this type of food before, many times so I am aware that injera, by the nature of it, is tangy.

            I asked if the had authentic tea and they said yes. I also inquired about authentic coffee and was told no they had american coffee. So we ordered the tea. To me, it tasted like mint and cinnamon infused tetly water.

            Sorry that my review was not a great one. I really so want this to be good as there are no places around here that serve this type of food. Perhaps it's just growing pains and I will give it another try in the future. Maybe one of you will have a better experience then I did.

            5 Replies
            1. re: xecuchef
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              chipmonger RE: xecuchef Apr 30, 2010 12:13 PM

              Thanks for filing the first report :-) I wonder how they will be doing in a few weeks/months. Sounds like they do not have much experience in the restaurant business in general, but hopefully they will learn or bring in experienced people.

              1. re: xecuchef
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                september81 RE: xecuchef May 1, 2010 10:08 PM

                I was at Lalibela last night and I had a total opposite experience from the above reviewer. I have had Ethiopian food many times before and the food at Lalibela is comparable to most and better then some of the places I have been to. When we were sited and given the menu (BTW, they do have the real menu), they asked if we had Ethiopian cuisine before and if we had any questions to let them know. Considering they just opened on Tuesday I thought the food and the service was great; the place was full and everyone seemed to be enjoying Lalibela. Clearly the reviewer above doesn’t know much about Ethiopia, the pictures on the wall represent some of the landmarks in Ethiopia (the blue nile, axum, lalibela, etc). I recommend to everyone to try Lalibela.

                1. re: september81
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                  Kat_in_Ossining RE: september81 May 2, 2010 06:43 AM

                  I'll just support what september81 said -- everything I sampled was very good, and yes, the pictures on the wall are all of Ethiopia.

                  1. re: september81
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                    xecuchef RE: september81 May 2, 2010 02:53 PM

                    september81, obviously, I do not know as much as you about Ethiopian landmarks but I certainly have had my share of Ethiopian food and I am standing by my review. As I stated, I had( and have) high hopes for the restaurant. It's a shame that I did not have the same experience as you had.

                  2. re: xecuchef
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                    freddiefoodie RE: xecuchef May 5, 2010 09:47 AM

                    Liz Johnson of LoHud (Journal News) did a review of Lalibela today. Here is the link to the article on their website. There is also a 3:27 min video on the right hand side of the page. She seems to really like the food. http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...

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                    dma1250 RE: NickM May 23, 2010 07:00 AM

                    Ate at Lalibela last night and had a really lovely experience. The place is very pleasant and the owner and all the wait staff were extremely friendly and helpful. We got there at just before 7:00 and it was crowded, but we were seated after just a few minutes. (Later on, their was a small line of people waiting for seats). Our waitress asked if we had questions about Ethiopian food and she answered our questions helpfully. The menus are nice and include helpful background info. We had the avocado salad, which was perfect for a warm night (though a bit of a challenge to grab with the injera bread), and the sambusa was really excellent. Then we had the combo. All the dishes were extremely tasty and the blend of spices worked well together. The meat dishes were a bit too spicy for our 9 year-old, but we had the foresight to order him the burger as a backup. (However, the younger boy at another table seemed to be enjoing the food very much, so it all depends on the kid.) All in all, it was an excellent experience and we will certainly be back soon.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: dma1250
                      MisterBill2 RE: dma1250 May 23, 2010 11:06 PM

                      I had lunch there a couple of weeks ago. I had the lunch portion of the doro wat dish with the chicken legs and hard boiled egg. The portion was small (2 legs and 1 egg) but came with a couple of small portions of vegetable dishes, some beets (served cold) and shiro wat (chick peas) and with the injera I ended up full. A co-worker I went with had the vegetable combo. It was several small portions; he seemed to enjoy it but complained that most were not hot (temperature wise or spiciness) The server brought out extra spices to fix the latter but claimed they were served at the correct temperature. He claimed he'd had Ethiopian food before and they were not served like that and they were wrong and he's not going back.

                      1. re: MisterBill2
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                        livelife RE: MisterBill2 May 28, 2010 10:42 AM

                        Not impressive, not fun, not easy and not returning. We had dinner their last week.
                        The Vegetable dish of beans carrots and potatoes had NO Potatoes.
                        The Signature Chicken and boiled egg - for $16 had ONE leg and one egg! What? I also noticed that the boiled egg had that grey ring on the yolk which is a clear sign of an old egg - gross.
                        The napkins are paper and shred in your fingers as you need to wipe your fingers throughout the meal. The staff never spoke once. The tables are to small if you dont get a table for 4. The spices are moderate to dull, and I had a belly ache the next day.

                        I had hoped for so much more as it could be fun, entertaining and different. But it was just food (beef, chicken and lamb) with spices relative to the world of a normal restaurant. I expected a escape to Ethiopia, an excursion to a far off place...but all I got was a mediocre place in downtown Mt Kisco.

                        1. re: MisterBill2
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                          livelife RE: MisterBill2 May 28, 2010 10:43 AM

                          I had one leg and one egg at DINNER for $16...so your portion was 2x my size.

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                        luv2dine254 RE: NickM Jul 19, 2010 01:42 PM

                        yes, Lalibel at 37 South Moger Avenue in Mount Kisco. I went with a friend for lunch last week and it was EXCELLENT. The atmosphere is very pretty and clean. The staff was friendly and knowledgable as well and the food was fresh, delicious, nicely presented. I highly recommend it.

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                          luv2dine254 RE: NickM Jul 19, 2010 01:43 PM

                          www.lalibelamountkisco.com is the website

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                            dma1250 RE: NickM Jul 25, 2010 05:45 PM

                            The restaurant just go a "Worth It" in the The New York Times (second from best rating). The reviewer raves about the food and the hospitality:

                            http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/25/nyr...

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: dma1250
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                              chipmonger RE: dma1250 Jul 26, 2010 03:12 PM

                              I liked the first and last sentences of the review:

                              "LUCKY Mount Kisco has snagged the rarest of rare in Westchester County — an Ethiopian restaurant — and it’s a honey."

                              "With Lalibela and the already established Persian restaurant Shiraz signaling a trend toward more culinary adventures in this county, can Afghan or Vietnamese restaurants be far behind?"

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                              Mini girl RE: NickM Aug 29, 2010 09:17 AM

                              I ate there on Friday for dinner. We ordered the Vegetarian platter and a chicken cube dish. I was disappointed. The curries lacked spice and flavor. But the injera was very fresh and soft. Next time I'm in the mood for Ethiopian, I'll certainly head to NYC.

                              1. i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream RE: NickM Oct 28, 2010 05:19 PM

                                This is a nice addition to the westchester dining scene. Lovely service, adorably decorated & very bright at lunchtime, and tasty food. I've only had Ethiopian twice before so can't judge authenticity etc. but the veggie sampler platter was the perfect size for lunch for 2 of us, and for $19 quite a bargain for a sitdown lunch... loved the lentils and the carrots and beets especially. Fragrant hot Ethiopian tea was a nice complement.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream
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                                  chipmonger RE: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream Oct 29, 2010 08:18 AM

                                  We went here on a recent Friday and had a very nice dinner. Yes, I agree the service was attentive. It was not so brightly lit, but appropriate I think for dinnertime.

                                  We had a variety of meat and vegetable dishes and it was quite good for the most part. Only one dish, the cooked Kitfo, was strangely spiced/flavored. The Doro Wat was right on.

                                  BTW I'm familiar with Ethiopian cuisine having lived in East Africa, but I'm not holding Lalibela to that standard. IMO they are as good as any NYC restaurant. For the best here in the states, you have to head to the Adams-Morgan section of D.C.

                                  1. re: chipmonger
                                    i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream RE: chipmonger Oct 29, 2010 01:11 PM

                                    Nice review. When I said bright, I meant with sunlight, which was nice given what a beautiful day it was out. And I agree, it was as good as what I've had in NYC.

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                                      foodiemom10583 RE: chipmonger Oct 29, 2010 03:49 PM

                                      We ate there a week ago Friday. My husband and I each got a combination platter so we could try all the vegetarian options as well as the meat. My son ordered a mild lamb dish. He ended up eating everything on our gigantic platter, from bland to intensely-spiced, and loved it all. I had ordered a mango sorbet and ended up with raspberry, so there may be a slight communication issue, but we really enjoyed ourselves.

                                      I found Lalibela to be more conservatively-spiced than, say, Queen of Sheba, and more reminiscent of the Ethiopian meal we had in a tiny restaurant in downtown Denver 20 years ago that was said to be extremely authentic, our favorite until now.

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                                    spa RE: NickM Oct 30, 2010 07:11 PM

                                    Very enjoyable meal tonight. We shared the veggie sampler and enjoyed every bite. I also really liked the lentil sambusa (better than the beef) to start, along with a couple of Ethiopian beers. Affordable, pleasant, tasty, and comfortable. The place wasn't too crowded and the service was attentive. We'll be back.

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