Your aunt has unexpectedly come into town and wants to take you to dinner. Where do you go?

Well, if you have a sense of direction like mine, you go someplace close to her hotel so you don’t get lost on the way back. Fortunately, she was in Woodley Park, so we chose Medaterra on Connecticut Ave. from the host of options available to us.

The place was nearly empty when we arrived, so we received immediate service. We ordered the calamari, since I get it wherever I go, and the baba ghanouj, because I’d never had it before. The calamari wasn’t the best I’d ever had, but the sauces it was served with were excellent- a cold bruschetta-style tomato sauce, and an off-white aioli that I couldn’t quite identify. And if Medaterra’s baba ghanouj is any indication of what baba ghanouj is like overall, I think I have found my new favorite snack…

(It was at this point that my aunt, who spent some time in the Middle East in her 20s, told me a very amusing story about trying to make baba ghanouj in a friend’s kitchen but instead she caused the eggplant to explode all over the room.)

I ordered the sirloin special, which was very tasty and had an especially good gravy poured over it. But the real star was the lamb shank special my aunt ordered. The meat was falling off the bone and practically melted in your mouth as you chewed it.

For dessert, there were a number of interesting-looking options, but as I was mostly full from dinner, I chose the mango sorbet. It was a much larger portion than I had intended. It was 5 small scoops, sprinkled with powdered sugar to offset the tartness of the fruit. Mmm. But of course by the time I finished it, I was stuffed.

So two thumbs up, though I do recommend the ethnic dishes over the American-style ones. Price: ~$20/person.

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