8.11.2005

Tabaq Bistro: What's on the Menu

The opening party last Friday at Tabaq was packed, and I didn't get to try any of the food. (I got there too late.) But Tabaq is officially open and serving a full menu on the main floor. Here's a glimpse at what's on the menu:

Small plates priced at $4.25-$13.95 are divided into spreads, vegetarian, meat and seafood options.
• Spreads include hummus, babaganoush and a roasted red bell pepper spread with walnuts called muhammara.
• Vegetarian tapas include zucchini and cheese fritters, dolma, spinach cigar borek (spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo), and a vegetable tart with onion, tomato and zucchini set in a puff pastry with a basil emulsion.
• Meat choices include pan-seared foie gras with roasted figs and port wine sauce, braised lamb shank with eggplant purée and Turkish-style beef ravioli with red pepper, garlic and yogurt sauce.
• Seared scallops, mussels stuffed with rice and herbs, and grilled tuna with caramelized baby onions and pomegranate dressing are a few of the seafood offerings.

Main courses range from $13.95-$19.95 and include grilled beef and lamb skewers with steamed lemon rice and yogurt sauce and grilled beef medallions with eggplant, mushrooms and karasi wine sauce.

The roof will be open this weekend after 9 p.m. for cocktails only, and full food service will start next week. Brunch service will also start this weekend from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on the main level (roof service will eventually be available).

Melih, one of the owners, feels strongly that it's hard to find a good brunch in this city—and he intends to remedy that. Tabaq's brunch menu will include waffles, pancakes and french toast with toppings like Nutella, apple compote, pineapple compote and fresh berries; custom-made omelets; eggs benedict and eggs florentine; and a selection of lunch items like salads, the Tabaq burger, and chicken and salmon sandwiches. The hearty Tabaq breakfast will feature a European-style assortment of sausages, cheese, baked tomatoes and other goodies.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

**Bougie alert** Tabaq has such potential, but a group of friends and I had a disappointing experience there earlier this week. Maybe you could use your influence to help them see how their rigid policies will backfire? Tabaq is making the same mistake many DC establishments do---thinking they can manufacture hipness thru dress codes. Theirs forbids jeans and trainers ("athletic gear"). Do they want a crowd full of khakis and penny loafers? Our crowd was all from the n'hood and ready to be faithful customers if friends dressed in style, but wearing jeans and cool new trainers hadn't been turned away. Help steer Tabaq toward the righteous path of dress-code flexibility! (I posted this in the wrong place earlier, so apologize for repeat)

Amanda said...

Hmm, that's no good. I saw the "proper attire required" sign on the door, which made me think they were asking for common sense ... like no jorts and beaters. But no jeans is not going to fly. Anyone else have this experience?

Julian said...

I deliberately changed out of jeans before heading over last week only because I'd noticed the beefy gentleman at the door scrutinizing the patrons coming in more closely than most airport security screeners do. It seems a nice enough place, but that sort of rule's sufficiently out of step with the ethos of the neighborhood that it seems likely to forfeit the kind of local incubation buzz that a new place would normally want. Though, come to think of it, my recollection is that there's no such code at Meze... so perhaps the idea is precisely that in *this* neighborhood they want a higher bar to coax in the Ellington crowd while keeping pre-gentrification locals at bay, though I'd certainly prefer to think that's not the case.

Anonymous said...

For all the attention regarding the dress code, prentention and so on, I found the staff incredibly personable, attentive and down-to-earth. The fresa martini is one of the best on their specialty list, made with pureed strawberries, belvedere and champagne it is sweet but not cloying. The food is served on delicate glass plates, I found the lamb shank (served over a smooth eggplant puree) tender and moist, the calamari excellent and unusual and the basil-olive oil bread dip a simple and fresh accompaniment to the tapas. A good bet, and a fun, attractive and stylish crowd (whats wrong with dressing up a bit once in a while?)

what? there's a candle alert? said...

wow, you guys must all be white/patrons of "white" places...i was once in a conversation with one of DC's asian party promoters and he was lamenting that there's always some asshole who ruins the party and one of the most effective ways to prevent THAT guy from doing so was to say, "no jeans, no athletic gear etc". he borrowed the technique from dream or some other more "urban" spot. who knows, that may be where tabaq is coming from. apparently the rationale is that guys who are dressed up are less likely to beef and brawl. sometimes, it's not about being "bougie" it's about keeping out people who'd ruin your night. no one wearing $200 true religion/rock and republic/whatever_brand_tools_are wearing jeans out will be turned away anywhere in this status-whoring city. just dress decently, whether that includes denim or not-- it's not rocket science. you can live without your hipster doofus irony shirts or your frat fuck flip flops every once in a while, i promise.