Tara Kitchen (Schenectady)
- financialdistrictresident Aug 8, 2013 11:04 AM
Track season is here so we went to Tara Kitchen recently. We had dinner outdoors on their brand, new deck. Service was friendly, owners are very nice people. Now on to the food:
*ras-el-hanout seasoned grilled fish
*eggplant roasted garlic and tomato dip with pita
*SO had lamb meatballs in tomato sauce with poached egg (our server and the owner advised him that all the other lamb dishes were even better!)
*Tagine chicken with preserved lemons and green olives. Accompanied with brown rice. I ate SO's rice also :)
We had mint tea and baklava for dessert. This place is a gem, can't wait to go back!
We have harrisa often (thanks, Roma Foods) so passed on dishes with it.
Service is relaxed and all tagines are made to order so this might not be a good choice if you're in a hurry. Go, relax, enjoy the deliciousness. Regarding their wine list, they only serve Morrocan wines.
Agreed. We've visited several times and everything has been wonderful. I'd warn folks to be sure to call ahead if you want a table. The place is VERY small and has been completedly full every time we visited. Since there are only two of us we were able to get seats at the bar the one time we went without calling, but I wouldn't want to rely on that.
Went to Tara's Kitchen again. . .
*Eggplant, roasted garlic and tomato dip with pita bread
*Spicy harissa marinated picholine olives - This time we tried a dish with harissa. Not sure what the harissa was combined with but the consistency was different than what we have at home out of the tube we buy at Roma Foods. Maybe it was home-made?
*Ground lamb kebab - two of us are non-meat/non-lamb eaters. The others really enjoyed it and were happy they didn't have to share with us.
*Chicken with eggplant and tomato jam tagine, served with bread and couscous (seemed like brown rice?) - delicious
*Fish tagine - don't remember which one but I tasted the fish and it was very good.
*Lamb meatballs (more on this in my previous post)
*Lamb tagine - Don't remember which one SO ordered. He brought leftovers home.
By now it was getting dark and their deck is so new the exterior lighting hasn't been installed yet. The chef owner brought out some candles for the tables. We moved indoors for mint tea and baklava. It's a small and intimate space so reservations are a must (deck was almost full with three tables of 2, 4 and 6 diners). There is also counter seating and a few tables indoors.
Re: the harissa. Yes, it is homemade and tastes quite different, imho better, than the stuff you get in the can or tube. Tara Kitchen sells jars of it and some of their other homemade items (preserved lemons, tomato jam, etc). The prices are listed online at the bottom of the menu.
Returned to Tara Kitchen recently. Couldn't believe we were able to snag a reservation on short notice. Kitchen closes at 8:00 pm but we made it there in time for dinner.
We were served sweet, hot tea in small glasses. Ordered Moroccan wine. They also have beer.
Eggplant, roasted garlic and tomato dip with pita bread ($4)
Grilled fish seasoned with ras-el-hanout spice blend ($6)
Both were delicious. Fish was cooked perfectly.
We ordered 3 tagines:
Spinach with lentils and artichoke hearts.
Chickpeas with vegetables and raisins.
Fish with green olives and preserved lemons.
These were all tagines we had not tried before and everything was delicious and cooked perfectly. Like the presentation of the steaming hot tagine on a braided, round mat.
We finished with baklava.
Consistently delicious. An excellent value. Service was very good. There is a counter if you want to watch Chef Aneesa prepare your meal. We prefer to sit in the upstairs, back dining room or on the deck (weather permitting). Parking lot right across the street. Reservations are a must, as posted previously.