Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Further excellence at Taboon

You know those places that keep getting better each time you go? I'm beginning to think that Taboon is one of them. I've written glowing words about the fresh, simple, excellent food at Taboon a few times before, and this review will be no different. AV and I popped by for an early dinner last Friday evening, and Taboon delivered its goodies in spades.

As always, we began with their complimentary loaf of warm, house-made flat(ish) bread. This time around the bread was the best I've ever had there-- piping hot from the oven, lightly slicked with oil and sprinkled with salt and herbs, pull-apart stretchy on the inside and crusty on the outside. It pretty much doesn't get much better than this, especially when you pair it with an order of tzaziki, as we did. We contemplated asking for a vat of this dish-lickingly addictive yogurt-based concoction, diving in with two spoon-ended slushee straws, and gorging ourself silly on the ambrosial dip. As it was, we practically battled for the last bits of this modest portion.

A dynamic duo

Between us, we ordered my two favorite dishes on the menu. AV went for the haloumi salad, featuring that incredible tooth-squeaking cheese, grilled to add a bit of crust and chopped into bite-sized bits. The tomato, cucumber, red onion, and shaved fennel added a vegetal counterpoint to the cheese, and the whole mixture was brought together with a mouth-puckering vinaigrette.

Twist on the traditional Greek salad

I went for the zucchini cakes. Break though the light pan-fried crust to reach the creamy insides, a mixture of feta cheese, zucchini, and herbs and spices. I supplemented the small smear of yogurt with more tzaziki. There's no other word for this flavorful appetizer than excellent. Simply excellent.

Zucchini beauties

We had other designs on dessert this time around, so we ended our light meal there. Every time I go to Taboon, I vow to go back again soon. The food is simple but perfectly prepared, full of those signature Mediterranean ingredients that are filling but leave you feeling lively and healthy. If you're a fan of Greek, Turkish, or any other Mediterranean cuisine, you'd do yourself a disservice not to give Taboon a try. It's one of the city's best hidden gems.

773 Tenth Avenue, at 52nd Street

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