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Restaurants & Bars 2

Arkadash Cafe and Sayat Nova

Lill | Jan 31, 200401:42 AM

I visited outposts of these neighboring cuisines back-to-back last night and tonight, starting with Sayat Nova (157 E. Ohio). It was my first time there, and I was eagerly anticipating the meal after reading about the restaurant here. Unfortunately, they must have been having an off night, because the food was not tremendously exciting. The baba ganouj could not compare with the smoky goodness of Noon O's, which was still fresh in my mind from Monday night. The lahmajoun (spelling undoubtedly very wrong) was dried-out and lukewarm with little to savor. The lentil soup was very thin; more broth than lentils. For an entree, I had the Armenian combo plate, and everything seemed warmed-over. The yogurt-dill soup with meatball was the best item on the plate. Dessert, a piece of baklava, was fine. Service was absolutely excellent -- friendly, fast, attentive but not overbearing. The space is extremely comfortable and appealing. Dinner for 2 drinkers was $82.

Arkadash Cafe (5721 N. Clark) was a nice surprise. We were aiming for the Turkish Bakery to check out those Georgian dishes, but they were having a big private party and didn't have room for us, so we ended up a couple of blocks up the street at Arkadash. Good choice! The feta was copious and tart. The lahmajoun was fresh, warm, spicy, tomato-y and excellent. The bread was warm, fresh and so, so good. My lamb kebobs were well-seasoned and served with a nice salad mixture and a small amount of rice -- this could be quite a healthy meal for those concerned about those issues (but don't let them bring the bread basket, or you'll gorge on it). Dessert was baked custard, which was smooth and luscious. This place has live music and bellydancers, who had not yet arrived when we were there. The crowd apparently assembles late in the evening for drinks, dancing and hookahs. Service was well-meaning and friendly but absentminded. Dinner for 2 drinkers was $78; drinks are very expensive (perhaps because it's also a nightclub).


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