Friday, January 19, 2007

Winter Bike to Armenian Food Day: Sayat-Nova

Sayat-Nova Armenian Restaurant: (Streeterville) Chicago
157 E. Ohio St.
(312) 644-9159

Sayat-Nova: Sujata, Satya, Amod, Chris.jpg
Photo of Chris from a previous visit with Sujata, Satya and Amod (Photo: Sujata B.)
Today was Winter Bike to Work Day, celebrating bicycling despite cold weather. It was also my good pal Dan's last day in an official position advocating for bicycling in Chicago; and the day of a 28-person lunch with him down the middle of Sayat-Nova just off Michigan Avenue. Our group overflowed to booths lit through geometric cutouts in the walls they sunk into - perfect to get lost in with a date and a bottle of wine. Dan's getting ready to open his vegan general store in Cincinnati (Park and Vine), and judging from all the laughs, hugs and admiring words, every single person sitting with him will be very sad to miss him.

Vegan options at Sayat-Nova include the typical hummus (perhaps nicely a bit more tangy than usual with lemon), yalanchi sarma (similar to dolma: grape leaves stuffed with rice, chickpeas, pine nuts, onions, tomatoes and cooked in olive oil), eggplant fried in olive oil and served with sautéed peppers and onions, baba ghannouj (smoked eggplant blended with tahini, lemon juice and garlic), and a very smooth plaki (great northern beans and onions in an olive oil sauce that has a touch of tomato) - of course with pita bread.


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