Monday night, I went to one of my favorite restaurants in Boston, Addis Red Sea. ARS is an Ethiopian restaurant located in the South End. I love the South End. But what I love more is eating with my hands and laughing with my friends. From the moment you walk down those steps underneath the glow of red, green, and yellow, you are transported into a totally different world in the midst of Boston.
Ethiopian food is utterly delicious. I got my favorite item on the menu, Yemeser Wot (a lentil dish cooked in a spicy berbere sauce). When I first started going to ARS, I would order their vegetarian platter which lets you taste four of their veggie dishes for about 15 dollars. After getting that a couple of times (and realizing that it is kind of too much for one person) I started just ordering my favorite of the 4. Though if you are new to Ethiopian food, I would totally recommend getting one of the combination plates.
Also, if you are going to Addis Red Sea beg them for their baklava. It is absolutely divine. Like nothing I've ever tasted. The way the honey glaze mingles with the filo dough. . . Mmmm. So good.
I think one of my favorite parts of taking new people to ARS is having them enjoy the ambiance. You get to eat at a low sitting Mesob (handwoven table), your food is brought out on a platter, and you eat with your hands.
Ethiopian bread is also a huge focus of the meal. It's called injera and it is part bread, part utensil. You use the injera to pick up your food (most of the food is heavily sauced and so you need to scoop it up) and soap it up. The injera is a spongy flatbread that your food is dumped on. Each dish is brought out in a tiny bowl and then turned upside down on the bread/plate. This makes sharing hilarious and fun. It also makes being the only vegetarian very interesting, but no worries the sauces are typically thick enough to not run around and the bread keeps it in place.
The wine at ARS is also pretty good and they serve a honey wine that is somewhat interesting. I've also been told that their beer selection isn't too shabby, but haven't really tried any.