Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tasty Eats at Troya

It was my b-day over the weekend, and I wanted to try some place new. I didn't want too fancy, needed it to be in a convenient spot for PH who was coming from Marin, and didn't want the ho-hum usual suspects in the Cal-French, Cal-Italian, Cal-whatever zone. All arrows pointed to Troya, a newish Mediterranean-Turkish eatery in the Inner Richmond helmed by the former chef of well-regarded Moroccan resto Aziza (another place I really need to try).

We started with our single-serve cava (sparkling wine from Spain) bottles (these would be a big hit on the plane), then moved right into some really tasty starters.

Troya's Mediterranean spreads were triply nice: a humble hummus, soury-tart cucumber yogurt topped with olive oil and (our fave) a pleasingly sweet red bell pepper and walnut creation.

We loved the borek, flaky crisp phyllo pastries stuffed with a heavenly (and molten) spinach, pinenut and raisin medley accompanied by a tongue-curling feta spread.

And the gorgeous seared lamb melted in our mouths—the slices were so moist and tender. "Is that even cooked?" asked PH. "Trichinosis what?" joked JP. We didn't care. Really we couldn't stop ourselves from eating every bit of that rare-raw lamby.

As for our entrees, thumbs up all around. PH coveted my handmade manti, mini wontons filled with braised lamb and drizzled with yogurt and lemon. So I split it with her, and scored some of her super-rich vegetarian moussaka. Both dishes were just a touch underseasoned. No worries. A few taps of the salt shaker made things right. Would much rather the chef lean towards less salt than too much.

All in all, a really lovely visit. Though, when it comes to the spice profile at Troya, I'd say we toured the Mediterannean more than we did Turkey (and JP, who went to Istanbul, agrees).

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