Sunday, September 19, 2010
Layla Grill and Mezze
Last week I had the pleasure of dining at a new restaurant here in Salt Lake city with a group of local food loving friends. The restaurant is Layla (which used to be Confetti) and is a Mediterranean delight. We were treated to a round of small plates (mezze) from the owner; Tony Tadros. He is quite the kitchen expert in his field and served us up a table of small plates that made our mouths water including: Layla's Traditional Hummus, Muhammara Walnut Spread, Falafel, Halloum Cheese and Layla's Signature Fries. My personal favorite was the Muhammara Walnut Spread. This small plate consists of fire roasted red peppers, toasted walnuts and pomegranate molasses and is completely sweet and spicy with the delicious crunch of walnut and served with Zaatar Flatbread and Pita Chips. The menu warns it is "highly addictive." It does not lie. For a complete menu description, please visit Layla's menu here. From there, we each ordered the entree of our choice and I chose the Mediterranean Chicken which was a pan roasted chicken breast served with garlic, capers and lemon. Very fresh, very authentic. We had the opportunity to sample the ice creams made exclusively for Layla by Tropical Dreams. They were a palate cleansing joy to nicely round out our full flavored meals. We were able to taste the rose water, orange blossom, lychee and pistachio ice creams. The rose water is just as you would expect and even got the comment of "tasting like a bath" (lavender gets a similar rating whenever I cook with it), the orange blossom was so light and wonderful and the lychee tasted exactly like a lychee. The hit was the pistachio! It was perfectly creamy and flavorful. You can visit Tropical Dreams storefront to try their other signature flavors.
Layla gets a star rating from me for good, authentic Mediterranean food in a clean and appealing, well decorated atmosphere with such excellent prices but what makes it even better is the passion behind the food with an owner who puts his heart into the dishes he prepares for you. Give them a visit and see for yourself what a treat this little hidden up and coming restaurant is.