Though my mom flew across the country for a weekend of wedding dress shopping (for my sister), she came with every intention of eating good meals for the entire duration of her stay. Knowing this, my sister and I decided to take her to one of my favorite Mediterranean restaurants in the city, Meme. Meme opened only a few months ago, but has since garnered a hefty following for its diverse menu and intimate window-seat tables.
After a casual amuse bouche of feta-tomato bruschetta, olives, and olive bread, we started with the appetizer special of prosciutto wrapped figs with warm mozzarella and balsamic glaze. The five small dumplings combined an awesome mix of the delicate sweetness of the fruit and sharp saltiness of the crispy seared ham.
For my entree, it was a tough choice between the chicken tagine and the striped bass with chick peas, cumin, coriandor and roasted peppers served with a side of rice. I decided on the bass, which was beautifully prepared in a flavorful red broth perfect for olive-bread dipping. Though the dish would have benefitted from some citrus and salt, it was easily fixed with my mom’s extra tzatsiki.
Considering the food sharers my family members are proud to be, I shamelessly stole a few bites of my mom’s baked meatballs with yogurt and mint, served in piping hot in a clay pot. My sister loved these, but they were a little too rich for my taste – definitely a better dish to share.
My mom’s chicken kebab, however, was definitely something I’ll order next time – served with roasted vegetables, rice pilaf, and on a generous portion of my favorite – tzatsiki, they would be the perfect thing to pair with a salad.
The food at Meme is hearty and refreshing, and the restaurant, like Cafe Gitane and Bill’s, is a cozy haven in a neighborhood of overwhelmingly packed and scene-y hot spots. The service is spectacular – actually, so attentive that at one point in the night my mom and I were convinced that our waitress had the hots for my sister. Meme is definitely a must if you are in the village and looking for something easy with a variety of options, unpretentious waitstaff and a solid full bar.
Location: 581 Hudson St between 11th St & Bank St