Monday, October 20, 2008

Abyssinia, finally!

I have driven by the Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia for the entire 8 years that I have lived here in Memphis. I've always been curious about it but I've never made it in. Becca & Lee called & asked if they could take Kelly & I there for a belated birthday dinner. Becca tempted even further by promising to bring a bottle of Chateau Musar 1998 Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. This is one of my absolute favorite wines & from what Becca said it would pair well with the cuisine. I decided to bring along a bottle of Weingut Knoll Ried Krietles Smaragd Gruner Veltliner 2005 Wachau, Austria. When we walked in the door of the restaurant, the first that hit me was the overwhelming aroma of toasting spices. Mmmmmm. The gruner was deliciously bright with fresh acidity & a nutty flavor profile from the bit of age on it. I ordered the lamb which was stir fried with Ethiopian spices, garlic & big chunks of onion. The smoky spice & texture of the lamb was perfect with the Musar's earthy gamy depth of darkness & gripping tannins. Ummmm. I always find it interesting that when I mention Musar is from Lebanon most people just throw back a big "?". But if you think about it, that part of the world has been making wine since the beginning of time.

Thanks Becca & Lee!!!!


Benito said...

Abyssinia is a great restaurant, the only problem is finding people to go with you. Ethiopian cuisine really needs to be enjoyed as part of a group, and things like doro wat and injera are not quite part of the popular lexicon around here.

Kudos on the Musar--I've tried a more recent vintage at a Lebanese restaurant up in Cleveland and loved it.

Kip said...

yeah man, Abyssinia is amazing. The bread stuff starts to stick to your fingers after a while.

Michael Hughes said...


I hear you. At least enough people know those terms to keep Abyssinia in business. I'm ashamed that it took me 8 YEARS to get over there! Oh well, I'll be going enough to make up for that.


Yeah it did start to stick. Thank goodness I was with people that didn't care. We were all in each others dishes!!