MG did a little research. She wanted to eat someplace new for dinner. One of her choices was Safita. We looked up some reviews, and they were all overwhelmingly positive. Patrons even suggested a few dishes as especially great.
Being a Middle Eastern restaurant, instead of complimentary bread, MG and I received complimentary Pita. There was nothing special about the pita itself, but the stuff that would accompany it was intriguing.
Two of the three are pretty self-explanatory. First, there are olives, which I never touch. Second, Olive Oil, which I don’t like dipping bread into, and the third dish. This third dish was explained to us by our very friendly waitress. It is a mixture of salt, pepper, and sumac. (I hope I am remembering all these ingredients correctly.) Dip the pita into the oil, then dip into the spice mixture.
…and there your have a bit of pita post dip. It was a little spicy from the pepper, but the other spices mellowed out the heat. Did I like it? I’m not sure. It was definitely different and far more interesting that pita dipped in olive oil alone. MG loved it.
One dish that was highly recommended in review after review was the Cheese Fatayer ($7). They are described as “Dough stuffed with Syrian cheeses, baked & rolled in sesame seeds”.
Take a look at the inside.
If I had to compare it to something, I would say it was almost like an undercooked focaccia bread stuffed with a skim milk mozzarella. That description just really gives you an idea of the texture. The flavor was something far more complex. The cheese was like a cross between mozzarella, cottage cheese, and Swiss. There was some saltiness, some tang, some other stuff that I can’t really describe. It was really incredible. I can’t recommend this dish enough. It is very unique and very tasty. Each bite yields a new flavor. Count it as a must-order.
The Meat Kibbeh ($8) is listed as “Fried cracked wheat shell, stuffed with ground beef, onions, & Pine nuts”. The accompanying sauce has a yogurt base, something akin to a tzadiki.
As you can tell, the wheat acts like the shell of an egg. The meat inside is not overwhelmed with pine nuts.
This appetizer was nice, but nothing exceptional. The accompanying sauce didn’t do much to elevate the flavor of the dish. It is not bad, but not a “must-order”. Get another order of the Cheese Fatayer instead.
Check out those fries. They are fries, just in potato chip-eqsue format. I loved them. They are perfectly cooked, with a nice crisp outer shell and soft innards. The fries are topped with herbs, spices, and something vinegar based. I could not get enough of them. MG was not as fond as I, since she is not a fan of salt and vinegar chips. However, if you like a little tang with your fried potato, this is the dish for you.
For my main course, I got the Lamb Schwarma sandwich ($9). It was nice, but not much more. The lamb was well cooked and well seasoned, but it did not curl my toes. The meat is shredded pretty thin. I would have preferred it a little thicker. It might have given me more lamby flavor. I had a choice of Tahini Yogurt or Creamy Garlic and went with the Tahini Yogurt. It too was fine, but did not impress. What I did really like was the pita wrap. It looks like a flour tortilla wrap, but it is definitely pita. The accompanying pickles were also nice, a great mix of sweet and sour.
MG loved her Chicken Schwarma sandwich ($9) topped with Creamy Garlic. She was raving about it throughout the entire meal. I tried it and thought it was nice, but once again, I was not overwhelmed.
MG and I will definitely be venturing to Safita again. While I will probably skip the Schwarma on my next visit, I might try one of their specials. On the evening we went, they were featuring some sort of Sea Bass that sounded pretty good, but alas, I was in the mood for lamb. Nevertheless, though my entree didn’t bowl me over, I was very impressed with the appetizers, and the friendliness of the staff.
Safita Middle Eastern Cuisine
2217 Post Road
Fairfield, CT 06824