That is goal of The Fez restaurant in Stamford- and they have mastered it. With a highly curated wine list primarily featuring wines from South Africa and Lebanon, picked for the wondrous pairings they create with the deeply rich flavors of each and every dish on menu, along with a backdrop of great music – The Fez is sure to transport you into an old world culture where every meal is a celebration.
Eric Monte, the manager, takes great care in setting the right mood, the right lighting, the right wine selections and scrumptious food – to give you an experience never to be forgotten. His inherent charm, wit and warm personality will instantly make you feel right at home and while you are with him he will check on you regularly to make sure you are having a great time.
After talking about it for long enough, last week we finally went to Fez for dinner with some friends. The food was everything we expected and more. Complex flavors married together into beautiful symphonies. The warmth of the many layers of spices, the succulent tenderness of the meats and cool-finish of the side sauces (mostly yogurt and mayo based) – created a celebration in our mouths to match the one that was happening around us at The Fez.
Primarily a Moroccan menu with a subtle infusion of some Indian flavors you can’t go wrong with most dishes on this menu. Here are some of our favorites: Everyone at our table LOVED the Spiced Lamb Chops with Anchovy Breadcrumbs and Spiced Mustard. The lamb was so tender and delicious. We could not eat it fast enough, and so we all decided to put down our forks and knives – and just pick these babies up with our hands for faster delivery. That good!
The Caramelized Cauliflower with Golden Raisins and Toasted Pine Nuts was such a delicious rendering of an otherwise ordinary vegetable. The Grilled Marinated Chicken Lollypops with Roasted Garlic and Tamarind Yogurt was distinctly Indian in flavor and finger-lickingly good.
The Sag and Feta rolls with Kalamata Olives were good but paled slightly in comparison to the dominant flavors of the other dishes around them. Perhaps, they will sing in their own right, if consumed solo. I guess I will just have to go back and confirm that theory.
For our main course, we ordered a Lamb Tagine with Sauteed Vegetables over Couscous. I usually make chicken tagine at home and was so curious to taste the lamb version. Excellent choice. It was, oh! so-so good. The meat was extremely tender and moist. The spices created a complex flavor, coating every minute part of the dish without overpowering the glorious taste of lamb meat. The slight nuttiness of the couscous was the perfect compliment to the dish. For anyone planning to visit The Fez in the near future, take my word for it – this is a must try!
As I savored each dish I felt a constant sense of excitement. I mentally patted each of us on our backs for ordering so perfectly. Satiated. Satisfied. …. Ah! but never too satisfied for dessert, mind you! And it was just as well. Our friends wanted to try the Chocolate Lave Cake. I was not in the mood for that after such distinctly ethnic meal. The Briwats caught my eye. They are the Moroccan version of Baklava. Except, this felt lot more delicate and much crisper. Phyllo dough layered with honey and orange blossom, wrapped around a delightfully delicate filling of mixed nuts. You could distinctly taste and feel the crunch of pastry as you bit into it. The orange blossom and honey made for a lovely and floral accent. Folks at Fez will tell you that its better than Baklava. I totally agree. This is another must try people!
Hope you check out The Fez and love it as much as I did.
The Fez | 227 Summer Street, Stamford CT | http://www.thefez1.com/index.html