Saturday, September 25, 2010

Me Jana: welcome and happy times

Me Jana is an old Lebanese folk ballad sung to welcome friends, share happy times and reminisce about the old times.

Me Jana's patio was perfect for a September evening
Me Jana, 2300 Wilson Blvd., in Arlington, Virginia, is a Lebanese restaurant where friends and I were made welcome, we shared happy times and reminisced about the old. It is a restaurant that we liked so well a year ago that we ate there three times over the course of as many days.  Returning last week, we again managed to squeeze in two visits during our whirlwind trip to Washington, DC.

It was the lamb chops that drew us back. We weren't disappointed.
.Last year we sat around one of the outside tables on each of the warm East Coast evenings we dined there, shared plate upon plate of mezes (tapas) and desserts, while sipping excellent Lebanese wines that we've never found elsewhere. It felt like 'coming home' when we returned this year. 

Accolades are framed and fill the walls (including Zagat).  I am surprised to read on-line reviews noting Me Jana's high prices:  obviously the reviewers haven't dined in Seattle.  From our Pacific Northwest point of view our feast was a steal!  The lamb chops are not to be missed.

Getting there: Hop the Metro orange line and get off at Courthouse station, Me Jana is an easy quick couple blocks away.

We forced ourselves away from Me Jana one evening to return to another favorite; this one in downtown Washington, DC.  The Oval Room, 800 Connecticut Ave. N.W., isn't very far from the Oval Office. And the restaurant's website lists the famous politicians and media who've dined there.  We saw no one of name familiarity; but that could have been because we were so focused on the many flavors and designs of the modern American cuisine created by Chef Tony Conte, that we didn't notice the other diners. 

We, who live in Pacific Northwest coastal cities, admit to being 'fish snobs' and ask questions like, "Is this wild or farm raised?"  We like 'em wild out in these parts.  So when our delightful, young waitress answered our question about the salmon, saying it was farm raised near Maine and saw our response she quickly added, "it is a boutique farm!"  Our burst of laughter had her trying harder to explain that the chef would only use boutique salmon which only made it more humorous.

A boutique farm raised salmon might be worth a try but none of us could bring ourselves to do it. 
However, Chef Conte's roasted beet salad will call me back again when in DC; hopefully I'll be lucky enough to be served by the same waitress.


  1. Ironic - we were at that restaurant in early September with our neice & nephew. Ate outside - the lebanese wines was delicious (along with the sampler of appetizers!)

  2. that looks great, I've never had Lebanese before

    1. Neither had I and I loved it all! Each time I've been back since I first wrote this I have fallen for some new dish and always seek out their Domaine Wardy Sauvignon Blanc wine!

  3. I've never eaten Lebanese food either; sounds interesting!

    1. It was mouth-watering good food. I am already looking forward to my next visit here! Thanks for stopping by Irene.


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