I love Lebanese food. Actually I love most Middle Eastern food. The spice combinations are exotic to me and the uses of grains and vegetables are so perfectly delectable! Well, today I’m here to tell you about this amazing place here in little ole Milford, Connecticut. Olive Tree has a pretty straightforward menu, but dishes are executed perfectly. I’m not an afficionado but the falafel (fuh-law-full) is crispy on the outside and light, warm, rich and a little herbacious on the inside. They offer it as a meal with hummus and pita and cucumber salad or as a pita roll up sandwich thing. I’ve tried both and you can’t go wrong either way. When they roll it up in the pita they layer it with fresh, crispy lettuce, sliced tomato, pickles and a house dressing of some sort that really brightens up all the flavors and pulls them together.
The kebbe (ki-bay) are delicious! There’s this surprising richness of flavor that you will crave once you’ve tried it. I’ve had kebbe at different restaurants and usually they are served in a bunch about the size of a cocktail meatball, but the kebbe at the Olive Tree are HUGE and you only get one. I love the flavors though, and it was rich and juicy.
I’d never had freekeh before and really didn’t know what to expect, so I tried it on my last visit. If you are like me and have no idea what freekeh is, it’s sort of a warm whole-grain salad with peas, onions, almonds and pine nuts. They served it with juicy roasted lamb, sliced pita, hummas and cucumber/yogurt salad. The cucumbers and yogurt kept the whole dish from feeling so heavy and were refreshing.
So now that all the praise and hand waving is over here comes the rest. It’s a little joint that looks a lot like a hole in the wall and could probably use a good scrubbing. And the staff isn’t the friendliest group of folks in town. Of course my idea of friendly and what passes for friendly up here are two VERY different things.
Anyhow, if you’re in the mood for really delicious Middle Eastern food, give Olive Tree a try, you won’t be sorry. And pick me up a falafel. And a kebbe. And maybe some of that cucumber/yogurt stuff. Yeah, definitely some of that.