Let me start out by saying I loved everything about this meal at Lapis Bistro. The cuisine was new and exciting, the service was superb, and the ambiance was perfect. I am a huge fan of “ethnic” food and I can definitely say that I have never had Afghani food before, ever. IT WAS DELICIOUS. It was a kind of combo of Middle Eastern/North African (think Egyptian and Moroccan), Eastern European and Indian food. Weird combos in thought, but amazing result. There was rice pilaf and curry-like meat stews, kabob, a dumpling that was reminiscent of a fried pirogi and more.
The restaurant itself is located in my favorite part of Adam’s Morgan– aka not on 18th Street. The decor is trendy and authentic and is really well done. The walls have amazing framed pictures and there is a classic looking, wrap around bar in the middle of the room. Overall, a really cool space.
When I went, we decided to do the tasting menu and add the mixed grill plate. Since it was our first time at Lapis and ever having Afghani food, we wanted to try the best of everything. There was not one thing we got that I did not enjoy. (Even the drinks are amazing!).
To start we had the Sambosa trio which were almost like a combo of empanadas and pirogis. they were crispy philo pastries filled with various things. One had spinach, another had beef and my favorite had shrimp. They were serves with a delicious chutney and yogurt sauce. We also got the buranee banjan which is baked eggplant, sauteed tomatoes, topped with garlic yogurt and dried mint. It tasted like a Middle Eastern eggplant Parmesan. Lastly, for our first coarse, we got the Afghan Dumplings, in the mantoo beef variety. They were soooo delicious.
For our main coarse we got two stews and the mixed grill plate. The two stews were very similar to Indian dishes- the first was a mattar which is tender teres major steak cooked with green peas, onions, tomatoes and chef’s spices and the other was the morgh qorma which was sauteed chicken, served with tomatoes, yellow split peas, dried plums and spices. the mixed grill was a a combo of lamb, chicken and beef. The meat dishes were served with palow, or Afghan rice pilaf.
For dessert, we got the sheer berenj, or rice pudding with cardamom, garnisheed with pistachio and if you like rice pudding, this will blow your mind.