Sunday, December 25, 2011

Aya Sofia Traveling Table

Earlier this month, I got to attend Aya Sofia for a second time thanks to a STLwinegirl Traveling Table, and even though I already completed a blog post about them, I did get to try all new dishes and yes, it’s very deserving of a second blog post.

While Aya Sofiya does serve a number of Turkish dishes, we focused on the familiar Mediterranean dishes that most people are familiar with. We started off with Borek, or simply, a feta and spinach pie in filo dough. I loved the feta cheese…and the spinach flavor was strong so that paired VERY well with the Giocoto Pino Grigio from Slovenia. This wine is very quaffable and would go best on a warm, summer day. The flavor really stood out on its own but also stood up to the spinach. I was already thrilled after just the first pairing!

The second course included Sarma, grape leaves stuffed with beef, onions, and rice, and was paired with my first Lebanese wine: Musar “Jeune” Blanc. The wine had a strong herb smelled but once again, the flavor was able to melt well with such a rich dish.

The third course was of course, my favorite, since it was the Sebzeli Mussaka, the vegetarian version. Rumor has it that this version is better than the one with beef and it came with a side of pearl couscous. While the first two courses were appetizers, this was a full dinner-size portion and I still managed to “help” a few others. This course was also paired with a Musar “Jeune” wine from Lebanon but this time it was the red or “Rouge”, tasting much like a Cabernet. Although it was a little dry for me, the rich, fruity flavors did pair well with the heavier tomato sauce.

Last but not least, you cannot leave a Mediterranean restaurant without the proper dessert. We each received a small serving of baklava…just the right size since we were all so full. Dessert also came with an “evil eye bead”, which is often given as gifts as it is thought to give protection and bring luck!

Resources:

STLwinegirl = http://www.stlwinegirl.com

Aya Sofia = http://ayasofiacuisine.com/