No Bones to Pick with Mesob

Mesob
515 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ
973-655-9000
www.mesobresteurant.com

Sitting smack in the middle of Montclair’s main restaurant drag near the corner of Park and Bloomfield is one of the more exotic meal locations in North Jersey, Mesob. A mellow dinning room featuring fine Ethiopian stews and a friendly staff.

Since we arrived in Montclair we had been tempted several times by the flavorful aromas coming from Mesob that waft over to the Fullerton parking deck just behind the resteurant.

We had never eaten Ethiopian food before so JerseyCool was a little unsure of what to expect but our worry was unfounded and our curiosity was well rewarded.

Those not familiar with Ethiopian eats need to know there are no utensils. Meals are eaten with Injera, a large crepe-like bread that the meal is spooned onto. You then break off the Injera, wrap it around the food (usually stews) and pop it into your mouth.

Don’t worry, the friendly staff is more than happy to give you a quick lesson and for the shy among you there is a primer on Ethiopian food on the restaurant’s Web site.Mesob

The restaurant itself is decorated in warm colors with Ethiopian tapestries and letherworks. There’s a coffee/tea bar in the center that the restaurant calls a work of art and since we didn’t see a wine list we assumed the bar and restaurant is strictly BYOB.

We started our meal adventure with Ayib Bemitmita, crumbled farmers cheese with hot red pepper powder. Appetizers are served with smaller rolled Injera. At first the cold cheese mixed with the hot pepper was a little off putting but ultimately the contrasting flavors worked.

For our main courses I had the Yebeg Aletcha Wat, which was a stewed lamb and C had the Minchet Abish Aletcha Wat, a beef stew dish. Each entree came with four sides that are also spread out on the Injera. There really isn’t a division of meal here.This is definitely fare fore share.

Everything was cooked well and the only thing I found perplexing was that the lamb wasn’t off the bone, which made it a little hard to eat using just bread.

Mesob also makes good use of it’s Web site. The site’s colors actually reflect the ones in the restaurant, there’s a 10 percent off coupon to entice newbies and also a link to other Ethiopian restaurants in the area.

However, that’s a tiny peeve and our only regret was that we really didn’t have time to stay and linger at Mesob because we had to make a movie time.

Lesson learned and JC is looking forward to making a return trip to this Montclair gem.

JC

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