Given as much as I like wine and my most recent adventure, a BYOB spot is always a good choice for me. I gathered a bunch of friends and we headed out to Mare Norstrum. It’s Mediterranean inspired Turkish cuisine. Everyone brought a bottle; there is no corkage fee, since there isn’t an official BYOB policy.
These guys have a very interesting menu – they have a cart with all the cold appetizers that they will wheel out and walk you through. Our table was big, I couldn’t hear, and I am easily distracted.
We started with the hummus – your traditional chickpea, tahini, and lemon variety – and the Haydari, which is one of my favorites, a creamy yogurt dip made with lots of dill and garlic. We also had the Pink Sultan, which combines lots of things I like, red beets and the garlic yogurt dip. Plus, lots of the Turkish flat bread. These small plates are definitely big enough to share for the table.
Our next “course”, was hot appetizers. If you haven’t noticed, I am on an octopus kick lately. I am not sure exactly when I fell in love… and I am sure my friends will be happy for me to find a new “favorite”… Nevertheless, we ordered it at Mare Nostrom. They grilled it and have a very simply preparation – a little oregano, olive oil, red onion, and capers.
We also ordered the stuffed calamari. This was by far my favorite dish on the table; I actually liked it better than the octopus. We had to order another one, because there are only 4 or 5 pieces per plate. I am so glad that I was sharing this with the table. It can’t be a god idea to eat something that delish all by yourself… Oh my…
The bronzini was so great, that we ordered two. We did the hot appetizer, although I have heard that the entrée is amazing. The sote is a sautéed fish with lots going on – crushed tomatoes, a great spice, red peppers and onions…
To finish up we went with all the skewers – easy to share. Mare Nostrum calls them Kebap. We had beef, shrimp, and lamb. The shrimp left the table first.