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Leave room for dessert

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Mazza plate, turkish coffee and baklava at Emelia's Kitchen in Fayetteville.

Creme brulee completes meal at Emelia’s

Restaurant: Emelia’s
309 Suite 2, W. Dickson St.
Fayetteville, AR
479-527-9800
www.emeliaskitchen.com

Preamble Ramble

Last week, I got older.  When asked where I wanted to celebrate my living one more year, I chose Emelia’s.  I hadn’t eaten there in awhile, but the last time I was there I had the most divine chocolate crème brûlée I’d ever tasted in my life.   Just the thought that I might possibly have the chance to have such perfection resting against my tongue again made Emelia’s my choice for the evening.

Food for Thought

The Mazza plate started my meal.  I would suggest getting the small one for two people and the large for 4.  I could have eaten the small plate by itself as a meal, well, the stuff on the plate, not the actual plate.  The Mazza plate comes with hummus, babakanoosh (a variant spelling of baba ghanoush), tabouleh, feta cheese, sarma and pita bread.  Everything on the plate was delicious.  The only thing I didn’t like was the sarma, but that’s because I don’t like stuffed grape leaves no matter where I get them.  As far as I’m concerned, grape leaves are just a byproduct of wine making and should be sent to the compost pile.

For my main course, I decided on the Armenian Tabouleh salad with lamb added to it.  The salad consisted of romaine, cucumbers, scallions, tabouleh, tomatoes, parsley and was topped with a generous helping of lamb.  The salad was fresh and had an amazing flavor.  More importantly, my medium lamb actually came to me cooked medium.  It was tender and when I put the first piece in my mouth, it was so good I think I made an angel cry.  Of course, the angel could have been crying because of the very colorful adjectives I was using to describe how good the lamb was.

I made sure to leave room for dessert, which wasn’t easy.  I asked for the chocolate crème brûlée and was told that all they had was the Godiva crème brûlée.   Then I was asked if that was okay, and then I giggled a little, because you could put Godiva liqueur on a slice of cooked liver and almost convince me to eat it.  Almost.  Okay, not really, but putting Godiva liqueur in crème brûlée is like putting Anthony Bordain in shiny box with a big red bow on top and then asking if I want to open it.  Well, the crème brûlée was very, very good, but it was white chocolate.  I would have much rather had dark chocolate, but it was still creamy and somehow managed to be rich but light at the same time.   And the sugar on top was perfectly caramelized.  Crème brûlée just isn’t as much fun to eat if you don’t get the satisfying crack of the spoon against the hardened sugar just before the spoon sinks into the creaminess waiting beneath.

Bottoms Up

Emelia’s offers an extensive selection of wines, beer and mixed drinks.  On Wednesday nights, glasses of wine are $5 and on Friday you can get your drink on with their mixed drink specials.

The Sporkcast

(1-5 sporks)

Atmosphere: 4.6 stucco sporks with tiny white lights wrapped around the handles.

Emelia’s is cozy and dark and dare I say, romantic?  There are white lights strung across the dining room and it always makes me feel as though I’m eating al fresco in a tiny Mediterranean village.  Only I don’t have a view of the ocean and there isn’t a waiter with an exotic name and swarthy good looks who begs me to run away with him so we can go live like heathens in the jungles of Costa Rica.

Food: 4.6 freshest of fresh sporks.  Everything was awesome.  I’m not sure what else to say about it.  The food was fresh, cooked very well and was presented beautifully.
Staff: 4.7 forks with thin moustaches.  I can’t honestly rate the wait staff here.  Mostly because the night we were there, we were the only patrons in the restaurant so it wasn’t difficult to make sure we were taken care of.  I’m not sure why we were the only ones there.  We may have been there earlier than the normal crowd and it was a Wednesday night, but still.  Why aren’t you people eating at Emelia’s?
Dollars Spent: The appetizers run around 7 dollars and the salads are around 8.  The main course will set you back 12 – 25 dollars.  They also offer a lunch menu which runs around 7 bucks.  You can see the full menu on their website, and check out their specials on the board outside the restaurant.

Chance of Returning: I’ve heard a rumor that their crème brûlée changes with the seasons.  If I can figure out when Emelia’s makes the crème brûlée with Kahlua, I’ll be back once a week for dessert during Kahlua season.  I also want to try the brunch.  The Apple Walnut French Toast sounds very promising as does the Eggs Benedict Florentine.

If you want a cozy, romantic dinner, Emelia’s is your ticket.  If nothing else, go in for some crème brûlée with a cup of coffee and a shot of Irish cream on the side.  We all need a little decadence once in awhile.

If you know of a great eating place, drop me a line at rabirdsell@gmail.com. I’ll check it out and let you know what I think. If you know where I can get chocolate crème brûlée, I’ll be your best friend forever.

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