Yesterday was one of those days. No sooner did I arise – having slept through my alarm – than I trod in a nifty combo platter of dog vomit/diarrhea left behind by Morgan who, having pilfered a half pound of cheese from the table on Friday, has been frantically eating grass ever since. Then Lula, who is growing grumpier by the day, went after a dog in the park having completely ignored my threat to withhold her breakfast if she acted on her body language. Luckily, the dog was extremely fluffy and all Lula managed to get hold of was a mouth full of fur. Finally, I had to do my taxes, a process that is incredibly traumatic, reminding me as it does of how hopeless I am at keeping track of expenses and anything else to do with money. By the end of the day, I was feeling twitchy and stupid.
So I was mildly euphoric when I woke up this morning to a brand new day. Taxes done! Cheese crisis past! No fluffy dogs in sight! The feeling grew when I arrived at the post office to mail my taxes and, having taken a number, discovered that I was only third in line (I also took a number to pay the telephone bill and was 130th in that line, but whatever)! This being Italy, the package-weighing machine went on the blink the moment I stepped up to the counter and I spent the next 45 minutes watching the guy behind it push all of the buttons he could find, hoping to trigger some response. “I blame America,” he said darkly. “This machine is by IBM.” “I’m American and I apologize on behalf of my country,” I said brightly. “Hahaha??”
Eventually, the machine sorted itself out and off my taxes went to America (I think). I decided to celebrate by going to lunch. Most restaurants, at least in my zone, are closed at lunchtime on Mondays and I was starting to get discouraged when I stumbled onto Via di Monteverde. As it happens, I had read about an interesting restaurant on that very street just yesterday and here I was. And it was open. Hurrah!
Mezé Bistrot opened a short time ago in Monteverde. With a Libyan owner, Sri Lankan and Turkish cooks and a Spanish waiter, the mood is decidedly Middle Eastern/Mediterranean. The restaurant serves a range of mezé – babaganoush, tzaziki, hummus, tabouli, kibbeh, labne – as well as various salads, cous cous and specials like the interestingly named Beef Devil. I had tzaziki, which was wonderfully fresh and not too garlicky, and the important sounding Chicken of Jerusalem, which involved cinnamon and paprika and was moist and very tasty indeed.
Best of all, they do takeaway and, if you order more than 20 Euros worth of food, they’ll deliver. They also cater. I’m excited about this place, which is the requisite 10 minute walk from my house. I love mezé.
Mezé Bistrot, Via di Monteverde 9B, Rome. Tel: 3286475514.