Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Jetsons' Mediterranean Restaurant

Tizi Melloul: (River North) Chicago
531 N. Wells St.

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From the moment I found charmoula grilled tofu steak on their online menu, I knew I had to try Tizi Melloul; and there was absolutely was no disappointment. They seared the tofu hard, with lines burnt deep in to its flesh. Its bed of perfectly cooked, tender and firm, grilled asparagus and amazingly sultry ratatouille took it to the next level, just like Daniel Craig just did in Casino Royale. Our server Alexis completely accommodated us, suggesting and ordering us a special vegan root vegetable tagine (over couscous). We couldn't have ordered coffee with more ease. I had a great time chatting up the vegan-friendly restaurant scene with Alexis and my electrifying pal Dan; I could have carried on all night. The warm bread topped it all off. "I'm loving this dip," that the bread came with, Dan told me.

Tizi Melloul had a late 20s to early 30s ad agency kind of crowd in a space that looks like it was put together by a an interior designer living in the Mediterranean during The Jetsons' time. Dan called it a "very photogenic space." Their staff is completely gracious and natural, checking my cast iron skillet at the door with fun and excitement. They were playing music that sounded like a cross between Ultra Chilled and Natacha Atlas. If this wasn't fabulous enough, cycling home on Milwaukee Ave. in Wicker Park, I passed a tall bike decked out with Christmas lights riding with a cargo bike with a cargo box in the front.

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photos: Chris B.


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