I have very fond memories of Ethiopian food – it reminds me of different places in my life going all the way back to when I had my first Ethiopian meal at age 18. Back in those days, I used to go to a place called Abyssinia on Grand Street in Soho. The restaurant had traditional baskets that held the large plates of food with groups of low, 3 legged stools for sitting. I dreamed of the spices and flavors when I traveled away from NY. A few years later when I met Mark, we’d often have it at home as he was learning how to cook some of the lentil and split pea dishes. When I moved back to NY, Abyssinia had long been gone so we started going to a place called Ghenet on Mulberry. During both of my pregnancies I craved Ethiopian and it was oddly one of the only foods I can stomach, but I couldn’t recall when I’d had it since.
Mark and I would always comment over the years on how awesome it would be if an Ethiopian place opened up in our neighborhood. It always seemed like a long shot but guess what opened a few days ago? Ghenet Brooklyn! We just got back from a wonderful birthday dinner with dear friends on this unusually mild evening. We had 4 children between our 2 families so it was a bit of a zoo, but it was such a nice meal. The room had a transporting vibe about it, much more so than the original restaurant on Mulberry, and the staff had much patience for our wild brood. M was excited to be going out “at night” and meeting one of her best friends for dinner. She had always been a fan of Ethiopian even when she was quite small. I already knew Miss C wouldn’t be so adventurous – she likes her food plain and bland (she’s definitely the whimsy, not the spice), but we’ll keep working on that. The evening reminded me that it’s always important to celebrate special days, that we should learn from our children who get so excited about birthdays.