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Oct 10, 2013 07:06 AM

At long last, Sarma!

They opened on Tuesday evening -- I live right around the corner and did a frantic Google-search for their phone number after driving by and spotting a hostess in the window.

The bar looked bustling and fun, but we knew we were going to be awhile eating so we opted for a table. We were the first customers seated in their dining room (!!!) and got our second round of drinks on the house, which was lovely. From memory, they have Stillwater Cellar Door, Notch something (Session Pils?), Porkslap, maybe a Slumbrew...

We tried a little of everything and the food was beautiful and tasty across the board. The jerky was perhaps a bit over-seasoned, but then I'm not much of a jerky girl. Beef and cheese rolls wrapped in a loose phyllo rose shape were UNBELIEVABLE (can't remember their proper name). Duck-and-date kebabs were solid, and I think came served with a smear of light, fluffy squash puree. The yogurt cheese with warm sesame-seed-studded flatbread was also excellent -- we had to ask for more bread. There were sesame seeds thither and yon by the end of the meal.

Waiters circulate with instant-gratification trays of specials, which you can order on a whim (little hamwiches on Manchego buns were stellar, figs dripping with pork fat good but a little too gooey). Good beer selection, at appropriate Somerville prices. We're cocktail snobs, so we just window-shopped the cocktails with an eye to recreating at home, but I'm going again tonight with and will check one out. Covertly snapped cocktail list photo attached.

The staff was very attentive and friendly. They were distinctly overstaffed, but that's sort of to be expected on opening night.

The saturated blue-and-green decor is warm and welcoming. The servingware is an attractive mix of clean white less-is-more dishes and ornate silver cups and trays. Turkish coffee came in a tiny fluted ceramic cup so adorable we didn't mind paying $4 for it.

A couple of notes:

- There are two doors. The one on the corner was (and maybe still is?) locked, although during the course of the meal at least 10-15 people tried to come in that way. We did a lot of friendly waving and gesturing to the other door, which is around the side, a little way down Pearl St. We suggested that they put a sign on the door...

- We ordered the frozen Greek yogurt for dessert. As a devotee of Sophia's authentic Greek yogurt from Belmont, which exists at the delightful crossroads of cream cheese/yogurt/sour cream, I had high hopes, but the Sarma offering was crystalline and underwhelming (though pleasantly tart). At $8/pop, plus $2/topping, it's just not worth the outlay of cash.

I can't wait to go again tonight! I'm so excited that this is my new local hangout (my wallet and Highland Kitchen, less so).

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  1. OH! And how could I forget? $3 Miller High Lifes! :D

    1. Ah thank you for the report! I can't wait to try it out.

      How were the prices? After Craigie on Main's "neighborhood" offshoot, I'm intrigued by what Oleana's will look like.

      5 Replies
        1. re: Bellachefa

          Oh, thanks! The OPs post had me worrying it wouldn't be as vegetarian-friendly as Oleana, but the menu puts that to rest. Looks awesome.

          1. re: antimony

            I enjoy how they layed out the menu with the proper names on the dishes and a seperate glossary on the side.

            1. re: antimony

              Sorry about that! We are carnivores, so went meat-centric on the nosh. As you can see from the menu that Bellachefa kindly posted, it's definitely veg-friendly, too.

            2. re: Bellachefa

              b, are you one of those gifted 'Search' people? or was this linked menu in a article? thx so much for posting it; so essential for this thread about Sarma.

          2. Thank you so much for the great report! And wow, my husband will be psyched on the $3 high lifes!!! And let's be serious, so will I...;)

            1. Great report.

              I think Highland Kitchen will survive just fine.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gabatta

                Haha, I know they will! It's a different market for sure. I'll never really abandon HK, at least not until they take the buffalo fried Brussels sprouts off the menu.

              2. miss, EXCellent report, very well roundedw/ helpful info. Thk you.

                1 Reply
                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  Thanks! I hope you enjoy it if you go!