Aida's Mediterranean Bistro
2208 4t St SW
Night out with some ‘spooners last weekend. The original plan was to check out Calabro but someone forgot to make reservations (I swear it wasn’t my fault!). Some quick phone calls were made and we ended up going to Aida’s for dinner.
Driving like a mad man, we arrived at Aida's in less than 5 minutes. We also scored sweet parking just steps away from the door. I'm pretty sure it was -20 something out that night so I was pretty stoked about my find. Upon arriving, we were seated at a table by the door. Every time someone entered, we were met with a brisk of cold air; Which happened quite often. Unfortunately. I guess crappy weather doesn't dissuade people from eating delicious food. There was a vestibule with a second set of doors. Except the top was open. So it didn't really do anything.
Once settled, we were presented with the menu. We ordered a hot fragrant "tea" made from orange blossom or something to warm ourselves up. The tea was clear and had no colour to it but the flavour is very strong and sweet. One would not have expected this flavour explosion just looking at it.
Anyway, to start, we ordered the veggie mezza which is a giant platter of stuff. What kind of stuff you might ask; Well, let me tell you! There were 3 dips - Hummus (Made with chickpeas), baba ghannouj (Made with egg plants) and mouhammara (Made with red pepper, walnuts and pomegranate juice) and an endless plate of pita bread. Of the three dips we got, my favourite was the mouhammara. I stuffed my face with pita bread smothered in the delicious dip as we waited for our entrees to arrive stopping periodically to devour one of the many appetizers that accompanied the platter. Fatayer (Spinach filled pastry), rookaak (A spring roll looking appetizer that is filled with a blend of cheese and olives), grape leaves (Exactly what it sounds like, stuffed with rice), falafel (chickpea "patties" with tahini dip. They were more like balls) and tabbouli salad (Chopped parsley and mint leaves in a olive oil and lemon dressing). My favourite was the falafel balls, a little fluffy, a little crispy and ALLLL delicious! Wasn't a big fan of the grape leave rolls though. The leaves and rice were really gummy and sticky and a little too sour. Maybe I should have smothered it with some mouhammara.
For my entree, I ordered the shish kabob. Speared with a cocktail stick, giant chunks of beef tenderloin alternated with wedges of green peppers and onions. The string of deliciousness is then grilled to a well done consistency (Is that the right word to use? Consistency?). The skewers is laid on a bed of rice and served with a side of roasted zucchini and potatoes; and green beans in a tomato sauce. The green beans were super mushy but really good. Very flavourful and probably my favourite part of the dish. The meat was decent. Perhaps a little too well done but I'm pretty sure that's what it's suppose to be cooked to. I don't think I've seen many blue rare shish kabobs...
I didn't order any desserts as I was stuffed (from all the pita bread I had before the meal), lost pretty much all respect from my peers. : (
Anyway, the scores:
Atmosphere - 7 out of 10. Beautiful decor. I mean check out that ceiling! Total boss. Points deducted for the open vestibule.
Service - 8 out of 10. Our server was very knowledgable of the foods.
Food - 8 out of 10. Food was really good.
Cost - 8 out of 10. Decently priced. $200 including tip for 5 of us. Appetizers, entree, dessert and wine.
Overall - 8 out of 10.