Kristien’s parents, Tom and Linda, were in town and wanted to try The Fez after reading our review. We were certainly not going to protest considering we declared The Fez our favorite restaurant in Stamford! Again this time we were lucky enough to have Thami as our waiter. Thami is the kind of waiter you hope for at restaurant, friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable, so much that he even great he remembered exactly what wine we ordered last time and even some of the food. And, the owner, Eric, said hi to us again. I have to say, it was nice being back…they really make you feel welcome and make the whole evening a fun experience.
There’s been lots of talk about the infused drinks at The Fez. First, our friend, Terri Zimmer, talked about them on FB, then Amy from ctbites.com asked us about them. Well, I am proud to be your culinary and drinkiary ambassador. So, I asked Eric about them. Turns out they serve pickle infused vodka, orange blossom infused vodka, and cherry infused vodka. I stuck with the first two in the list, though the cherry did sound good.
Well, onto the meal. Unlike last time, I decided to switch things up and go with small plates. I started with a very creamy hummus that had toasted pine nuts on top. Served on the side was avjar: a kind of salsa, only they use red peppers, some garlic, and possibly some eggplant. A light, smoky flavor runs through the avjar. We dipped into the hummus and the avjar with crispy (Fez) pita chips that were sprinkled with cinnamon–nice touch. Even though this was my dish, Kristien and her parents couldn’t help themselves from stealing from me–even with dirty looks.
So, you’re probably wondering…what’s up with the pickle vodka? The waiter asked me how I wanted it and I wasn’t quite sure what to say. Then I said something I never thought I’d say, “Pickle infused vodka on the rocks please.” Scary! Well, the pickle taste wasn’t overpowering at all and the vodka was good, though I realized that it was better to drink with food, not by itself. The cucumber added a nice flavor when I took a bite then took a sip. It’s worth trying, definitely! I know my sister, Ren, used to drink pickle juice, so just consider this the adult version.
I also needed to get the Pizzet Aroub again because it was just that
amazing. Last time I really wanted the Fez Burger, so I thought, hey, today is all about adventure so let’s do it! This burger was really amazing. First of all, it was cooked to a perfect medium rare. Secondly, crispy and thin fingerling potato shoestring fries. Damn, damn, damn. Thirdly, we’ve got the burger, a mixture of lamb and beef. I liked the mixture because the lamb was balanced out by the beef. Crispy lettuce and juicy tomato lay beneath the patty and on top were some savory roasted onions and peppers, kept together with a green spiced sauce.
I also tried the orange blossom infused vodka which was quite different than my pickled vodka. The vodka seemed much stronger with this infusion with a very subtle orangey/citrusy taste. In a moment of pure inspiration I squeezed the blood orange on the rim into the vodka and that actually cut into the strong vodka taste a bit. I enjoyed the pickle vodka more, actually, wouldn’t you know it?
Surprise, we ended with the briwats again. Still a fabulous dessert that kicks baklava up a notch! We really noticed this time a floral accent in the briwats and Thami told us it was orange blossom. Thami also offered me a complementary port so I tried the 20 year old Tawny. This was probably the smoothest port that I’ve ever had and I’d recommend it as a kick ass aperitif.
Before I wrap this up, I should mention that Kristien loved her sag and feta rolls that had Kalmata olives on the side and her small plate of succulent lamb chops with anchovy bread crumbs. Tom enjoyed the meatball tagine and took any vestiges of the dish home to Upstate NY. Linda enjoyed the chicken stuffed with feta and peppers that came with a side of cubed sweet potatoes–one of the specials that night. As you see, Kristien was asked to come up and dance with Adina, their very sweet belly dancer! I was actually hoping Tom or Linda would go up and dance! I would have loved to have seen that and would have recorded it for all of you to see. Sorry, next time maybe? ;)
Cost: $$$The Fez Address: 227 Summer Street Stamford, CT 06901
Phone: (203) 975-0479 Site: http://thefez1.com