Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yesterday's $25 and Under column in the NYT featured three African restaurants in Fort Greene, including Bati, which just opened on Fulton. I'd mentioned that I was curious about the new spot, and on Tuesday night, my boyfriend and I had stopped in for dinner. The reviewer for the NYT seemed to like Bati a lot, but after our experience on Tuesday, I don't suspect I will be tempted to go back.

The restaurant itself is pleasant enough to look at: Simply furnished with rough-hewn wooden tables and white walls with African-seeming art. However, the space is very noisy (neither of us usually have any trouble being heard and we were both leaning in to hear each other). The service was uneven, but it was administered by friendly-enough servers. The food seemed only so-so to me. I haven't eaten tons of Ethiopian food, but I've often dined at Awash in the East Village and uptown and I can safely say their food is superior to Bati's.

Our meal also seemed expenseive to me for what it was: We ordered one meat and one vegetarian combination, which came to $31. I usually think of Ethiopian as an affordable meal that leaves you STUFFED. We left full, but with room for dessert at home. That said, the NYT does mention that, "Food is replenished upon request, with seconds spooned directly onto your platter." All in all, I think I'll stick to my regular neighborhood favorites.



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