Best African Food: A more refined Ethiopian experience
Dinner at some Ethiopian restaurants is so, well, sloppy: sprawling platters of stew and salad and injera in dining rooms sheathed with tons of bamboo screening. Finfiné, on the other hand, serves up refinement in a room that's all dim lights and decorum. The food radiates clear aromas and even clearer tastes. Take kitfo, the Ethiopian raw-beef classic that comes as a prim-looking dome of watermelon-pink flesh. It smells nice and weedy, thanks to a drizzling of herb butter. After only a few stabs at the pile with stretchy hunks of injera, a nicely sour-tasting pancake made from a grain called teff, your fingers smell like herb butter, too. Granted, tej (Ethiopian honey wine) can spoil the magic with the heady taste of rank fermentation it's definitely an acquired taste. But with a pudding-smooth dish of shiro wat, ground chickpeas cooked with berbere spices, and fingers that smell like toasted sage and butter, a meal here is a study in opulence.