Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Grape Leaf in Louisville and Cincinnati Chili

"Mediterranean" can mean many things, when it comes to food. It can mean Italian. It can mean French. It can mean near Eastern.

When Louisville's The Grape Leaf restaurant says it, it means deeeelicious! My friend Jane and I ate there the other week, and I'm still happy.

A lot of Mediterranean restaurants which focus on the Turkish or Greek style of cooking will give you a nice gyros or a nice kabob, maybe some rice and lentils or a quinoa salad, a moussaka or a baba ganoush, and call it done. The Grape Leaf gives you a headful of flavors midwestern Americans don't generally experience.

That brings me to Cincinnati chili. Cincinnati style chili was concocted by a Greek immigrant, and is rich with spices like cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, vinegar, and cocoa! The waitress who gave me my first taste told me that people either love Cincinnati chili or hate it. I love it!

And those flavors that dance on my tongue in Cincinnati chili are those I found in the basmati rice with lentils at The Grape Leaf.

Oh, it was heavenly! One of these fine days, I'm going to try my hand at making rice with those flavors. I can hardly wait!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

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