a few weeks ago, someone posted a query about a new Ethiopian restaurant on richmond called Bole. i think the star reviewed it recently as well. i went there for the first time last thursday night with an ethiopian friend and while i like to go to a place a few more times before recommending it, i have very intense, warm, fuzzy vibes about this place and can't wait to share the news...this place definitely deserves our support!
last thursday nite my friend and I walked in about 6pm and found it empty. the place is warm and cozy in spite of the 15+ft high ceilings (this is a lofty style bldg) thanks to the bright yellow/terra cotta colours and the warmth of the owners themselves. the cafe is owned/operated by a charming couple - first time restaurant owners! the menu offers a small array of the popular ethiopian dishes: kitfo, tibs, doro wat, vegetarian platter, and a few other dishes i can't recall now. everything is freshly made to order by the owner/chef/waiter who puts plenty of heart and soul into the dishes. we had tibs (lamb) and vegetables which were served on injera which came with fresh salad with house-made dressing. vegetables are often overcooked in ethiopian restaurants and overpowered by the berbere - not so here: the carrots, potatoes and beans retained their flavour and texture. the lady came by and chatted all nite long to us. apparently they also serve breakfast, including foule and other ethiopian breakfast staples.
despite the lofty interior, the place felt warm and cozy, no doubt in large part to the warmth and generosity of spirit of the hosts. we really felt as if we had been invited into this lady's home kitchen, she was so welcoming, altho clearly tired after being on her feet all day. later on in the evening, there was a group of about 6-8 diners who had made reservations leading our very attentive couple away to serve this group, extending once again the same generous hospitality and warmth they had shown us.
i don't know how long they can keep this up without more help in the kitchen but i do hope they will stay in business. leaving that nite after the meal i felt sad, like having to end a really nice conversation with a newfound friend...haven't felt this good after a restaurant meal in a long while.
(ps. no liquor licence yet and extremely clean washrooms!)