Oleana and Sofra still delicious, aka Ana Sortun still a smartypants and good at hiring.
- enhF94 Jan 10, 2013 01:34 PM
I've been a Cranky Pete on Chowhound lately, so time to talk about what a wonderful day Ana Sortun gave me last week.
Through boredom, I landed at Sofra for lunch, completely forgetting I had dinner plans at Oleana.
I ordered the five-scoops meze bar and will keep this short:
my favorite beet tzatziki (this is TOTALLY easy to recreate at home with the pre-cooked, vacuum-sealed beets at trader joes - the color is a little brick-ier than her electric pink, but the taste is easy to duplicate. Great for potlucks as you can rename it a "side dish" or "dip" when you arrive)
Carrot Puree. This still had chunks in it, and was carroty but still novel enough I rushed home to see if I still had her cookbook (I did! it's in there!). It's the dry rub almond/coconut/spices topping that happily confused me: I would not have expected shaking an eighth-teaspoon of dry spices on a puree to make any difference whatsoever, but it did - texturally, and kept the flavor interesting as my chewing/saliva activated the dry spice.
On to Oleana, where I ordered three meze and asked the bartender to choose me a fourth. She ordered me a special, spaghetti squash "carbonara," which substituted the squash for the pasta and pistachio cream for the eggs-and-pancetta. Topped with a cute soft-boiled egg that had been wrapped in kataifa* and fried. Break the egg, yolk is sauce, mix, lovely.
The star of the night was fluke nayeh, sorta-kinda like sashimi if you squint. It was light, easy to eat. It frankly reminded me a lot of O Ya. I could have eaten three plates full.
But the best part of the meal was that I didn't get heartburn after. Because it was so many vegetables!
*I forget how to spell it and google's no help, but I mean that greek shredded phyllo that's like shredded wheat biscuits. Konaifa? Kataifa?
I know the sweet greek dessert is called Kataifi, but I always thought it was just shredded filo with a sweet syrup. Didn't know if the dough itself was something different, or whether Kataifi can be used just to describe the shredded filo-esque dough.
In any event, sounds like two delicious (and relatively healthy) meals.
I had not been in Sofra in ages ( though awhile ago i was seeking recipes for tahini shortbread and Bear reminded me that Sofra made them [recipe in Ana's book] and My Love picked up a few and they were exactly the lovely shortbread i was seeking) and i saw something in some media that appealed to me, so we ordered and tried a few sweets today.
IF they gave me the correct items, i was perplexed by the 'Persian Spice' donut which, ime, was just a sugared donut. I thought it would have saffron or cardamom or SOMEthing Persian, but maybe they forgot to add it? The most decadent item i had was a donut with a ' tahini brown butter ' filling and a caramel glaze(only wkends). It was good , fresh and well textured, but it really did not reveal an identifiable flavor( the sesame was way too subtle if it were there.)
The revani texture and flavor was, for me, way too one-dimensional compared to the Greek revani i make, which is made with alot of ground nuts in it and citrus in the syrup.
Aside from the delicate lovely tahini shortbreads, the hit for me was a French pastry/ sweet bread called Gibassier, which had a very distinct and intriguing shape and was flavored with anise and candied orange (always a killer combo for me.) I have not had this sweet before and really enjoyed it. Great with a cup'a tea me thinks.(It reminded me of the texture of stollen.)
I know there are alot of Sofra fans;otherwise, it would not be so successful, and I have alot of respect for Maura and the high quality she maintains, but i guess we just have different palates. (And, in the end, I should probably be thankful for that!)