Hi! I’m Patrick and I’ve been a Wine Guy here in Sonoma County for over 20 years. Much of what I do is focused on food and wine pairings. I put together bites and sips that elevate each other into something even more sublime. However, there are times when the transcendence happens without the synergy. Go to Abyssinia Restaurant in Santa Rosa!
Why would I recommend a restaurant that I would only pair with beer or a cloyingly sweet imported wine? Since 1984, I have been head-over-heels in love with the cuisine of the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia. It is one of the centers of human civilization – mythically founded by the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. It is known for being both the cradle of Christianity and a “Lost Tribe of Israel”, a major empire from the 1st century BCE until 1974, and the birthplace of Coffee around 850 CE.
This unique cuisine is spiced, perfumed, aroma-driven curries, braises, and stews focused on either meat or vegetable. Are you looking for flavors and textures totally different than you’d find in any other cuisine? The food lovingly prepared and presented by the mother/son team of Wodi and Dawit at Abyssinia is magical and challenges your notions of what makes fine dining.
Your meal is presented on a platter that is covered with that mainstay of the regional cuisine, Injera – a sort of sourdough crepe usually made from an ancient grain called Teff. Tear off a piece and use it as your utensil to pinch together a bite of the various foods on your platter. There is a wildly diverse range of textures and flavors – three different styles of lentils, a rainbow of vegetarian preparations including potatoes, onions, spinach, peppers, favas, chickpeas, and more. If you have carnivorous inclinations, Doro W’et, Yebeg Alecha, Kitfo, and TIbs are not just tongue-twisters, they are great introductions to the food and culture of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
Intrigued? Get thee to Abyssinia Restaurant in Santa Rosa!