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Kali's Court Mezze (somewhat long review)

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Kali's Court Mezze (somewhat long review)

JeSuis | Jul 6, 2003 01:54 PM

The sister-in-law was in town for the Fourth with her husband and two little 'uns (4 yrs. and 18 mos.) and we decided to journey to Fells Point (from SoBo) for a little dinner last night. We were walking down Bond St. and turned on Thames and hello, what was this place? Was it a new hip-looking bar, was it an expansion of Kali's Court? It surely wasn't an expansion of Duda's (no offense - I love the place too).
Just like on our honeymoon to Italy and Greece, we were invited in by an older gentleman, "Come in, come in, would you like to see a menu?"
My wife was lured in by the chic decor and the charming invitation and brought back a menu: Kali's Court Mezze, mediterranean tapas. A quick look through the menu (8.5 x 14 paper folded lengthwise) and we dedided to take a chance. "How long have you been open?" my wife inquired. "Two days," came the reply.
We were seated in the small, empty upstairs (good b/c of the little 'uns) and our waitress informed us that the items with the "x" were not yet available, and there were no wines available by the bottle, only the glass. The shrimp cakes and marinated eels looked interesting (as well as many of the liquid offerings) so we'll have to go back. But anyway, as the main board says, let's "cut to the chow!"

The baba ghanoush and tzatziki arrived first along with black pepper-dusted fried calamari and greek salad. My wife had made an excellent choice of restaurants this evening. The baba was smoky and lemony, near-perfect and the tzatziki was creamy and tasty (I would have liked a little more garlic, but the others loved it as it was). The calamari was just a tad oily (nothing a roll on a paper towel couldn't remedy) but wonderfully crisp and chewy. The greek salad was wonderfully sized with crisp romaine, juicy red tomato wedges, red onion, capers, olives, and two massive wedges of feta.
Fried "shark bites" arrived roughly 5 minutes later with steamed mussels, tuna carpaccio, two orders of crab cakes (3 coconut macaroon-sized cakes per order), and spinach pie. The little 'uns passed on the shark and tuna, but tore into everything else and loved it as much as the adults. Although the shark was a little bland and the steamed mussels were a tad dry, they were eaten without complaint. The tuna was translucent and wonderfully rich with fruity olive oil and lemon juice. A dash of capers and diced red onion finished this prefect dish (I hoarded and devoured this one - and I didn't feel the least bit of shame). The crab cakes were not traditional jumbo lump, but we weren't disappointed with Mezze's mediterranean-flavored tapas version, moist and "crabby" with noticeable paprika and garlic. Two large wedges of spanikopita were warm and moist inside with crisp, flaky filo outside.
Last to arrive were chicken kabobs, baked oysters, another order of spanikopita and hummus. The chicken was juicy and had a lovely charred surface complimented with equally charred green peppers and red onions. The oysters were baked in their shells with a topping of garlic, spinach and feta - lovely. The hummus was disappointing in a couple of ways. First of all, why did it arrive last when it was ordered the same time as the baba ghanoush and the tzatziki? Why was it lacking the drizzle of olive oil that the other two dips both enjoyed? Where was the lemon? And the garlic?
Oh well, 90% of the meal was pretty darn good for the third night of operation so I cannot complain too loudly. But...it's hummus! C'mon guys. If the baba and the tzat are so tasty, what happened to the hummus? I'm sorry, I'm now finished with my tantrum.

With three $7 glasses of red wine and all that food, the total came to $93.40. No kidding.
Service was very good (we were very impressed with the availability of the highchair - not to mention the sippy-cup catching ability of our waitress) and the manager turned down the rather loud music (but perfectly suited to the atmosphere and cuisine) at our request.
Well 'hounders, make the trip to Fells for Mezze. You Fells-dwellers may want to inform the rest of us when the entire menu and wine list is up and running, but try it now, it's already quite good.

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