Friday, December 1, 2017

Geography Lesson Through Food: Where is Uzbekistan?

The cool lights at Nargis

Quick, can you locate Uzbekistan on a map? And did you know that the Central Asian country has food that closely resembles Mediterranean?
Have you traveled to Uzbekistan? Take a trip via Brooklyn

Nargis Bar & Grill, a new restaurant in Park Slope (there's another Brooklyn location in Sheepshead Bay) was my introduction to Uzbek cuisine. Though it specializes in meat kebabs, there were enough vegetarian choices.

Sadly, we couldn't sample the pumpkin samosas; the dough is made with lard. But we had a huge appetizer plate, the assorted mixed spread, with four different dips and three kinds of pickled vegetables. The spread included hummus and baba ganoush and pickled cabbage.
Two kinds of bread and fresh salad

There was no bread, but we had two kinds; non-toki, a flat cracker that looked like matzo and non, a warm puffy bread.
Pumpkin dumplings

Steamed dumplings came in a vegetarian version, with pumpkin and sour cream. They are served in a steamer basket like one you see in a Chinese restaurant. When I opened the basket, we were enveloped in a cloud of spiced mist. The dumplings were delicious.
My camera lens steamed by the dumplings

We had a big fresh salad with feta cheese and a skewers of salmon. There was also a yummy side dish of potatoes with mushrooms.

Nargis has interesting cocktails. My fig and bourbon came with a fig ice cube.

The restaurant has very fast service, but we weren't rushed. After we paid, we sat for awhile, listening to music and enjoying the atmosphere.

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