Lalibela, which opened in 1999, serves a collection of home-cooked Ethiopian dishes, many reminiscent in spicing and presentation to Indian curries. ... More
Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant
Lalibela, which opened in 1999, serves a collection of home-cooked Ethiopian dishes, many reminiscent in spicing and presentation to Indian curries. Its current chef-owner, Shilmat Tessema, took over the kitchen a little over a year ago. She retained the brief menu as she found it, preparing the dishes as she learned in Ethiopia, and occasionally compromising authenticity for her American audience, replacing bone-in with boneless chicken, for example. Vegetables and legumes are prominent in the cuisine, and Lalibela offers both meat and vegetarian dishes.The centerpiece of an Ethiopian meal is injera, a flatbread that looks like a large, thin, spongy crepe. Traditionally made with ground teff (a grain native to Ethiopia) and served at room temperature, injera has a fermented taste that grows on you, even if its charms are not immediately apparent. In a phone conversation, Ms. Tessema told me that in New Haven she has had to adapt her injera recipe, by adding a percentage of wheat flour, to get the right texture.
Lalibela s is great, definitely one of my top three favorite restaurants in New Haven, if not my favorite all-together. Being a vegan, they have a ton of good vegan dishes. The buffet is only $8 and always includes 6 vegan options everyday. Can t beat that. Good people, too.
Just like the climate in Ethiopia, the atmoshpere is pleasant and the food is to die for. Sharing dishes with others brings a sense of closeness to the table and temps you to try the meat stews that are richly spiced with fiery tones.
I can't wait until I get the chance to go again.
I love lalibela despite its sometimes inconsistent quality. In general the food is great and portions are generous. This tends to be one of my favorite restaurants, both in their actual location and from their cart by the med school. There have been times when the lentils weren't cooked all the way or the server scrimped on portions, but overall I love this place and try to introduce newcomers to it whenever possible. The lunchtime value can't be beat. The vegetarian menu is great as well. Definitely a hit with guests who prefer moderately spicy fare.