Tara Kitchen (Schenectady)
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.
Went to Tara Kitchen recently. With friends who had not been.
Had harissa, chermoula, ras-el-hanout seasoned grilled fish and eggplant roasted garlic and tomato dip with pita.
A friend had lamb tagine, his wife had ? SO had fish and harissa tagine, I had chicken apricots dates tagine. Everything was very good.
We had baklava and tea for dessert.
The outside deck now has an awning and a patio has been added.
Just keeps getting better and better.
Visited for lunch yesterday with my teenage son, who had election day off from school. It was his first visit ever and my first visit for lunch since lunch is only served on weekdays. The lunch menu has some items that are not on the dinner menu.
I ordered the Harira Soup and the Spinach Tagine with Chickpeas and Potatoes. The soup was excellent and, if paired with a few pieces of pita bread, would have made a good lunch on its own. The spinach tagine, served with rice and vegetable, was also delicious. Far too much food for me at lunch -- the leftovers made my husband very happy for dinner.
Son ordered the Lamb Kati Roll and the Grilled Ground Lamb Kabob, which was served with rice and vegetable. He declared both of them to be delicious. The portions were large enough that even my ravenous teenager had leftovers. He also adored the complimentary tea they serve with the meal, calling it "prime". In teenager-speak, I understand that is quite a compliment.
We found lunch to be an unbelievably good value. We'll be back.