Trapezaria, Rockville

I ordered the Mount Olympus cocktail (House Infused Cucumber Vodka, Fresh Lime Juice & Ginger, Infused Simple Syrup) which was tasty but sweeter than I would prefer.

We started with the Trio of Dips opting for the Melitzanosalte (Puree of roasted eggplant, parsley, garlic, olive oil & vinegar), Tyrokafteri (a delightful spread of feta cheese, roasted red pepper, olive oil & thyme), and Taramosalata (Mashed Potato, red caviar, olive oil & fresh lemon juice). Normally we would have gotten the Hummus but we just got back from a trip to Israel and are totally hummus-ed out right now. All three were very good, although the Fava put them all to shame.

I stopped by Trapezaria for lunch last week, and came away dumbfounded by the amount and quality of food I got for the money.

Walking in the door, I was convivially greeted by a gentleman who gave me a table for two, by the divider railing, just on the other side of the bar area. This was a good table, except that the air conditioner (I believe up above) was blasting out cold air, and I felt like I was sitting in front of a compressor unit. This may have been “that one unfortunate spot” that’s directly in the pathway of the vent; regardless, I ignored it, and proceeded to open – with irony – Troilus and Cressida.

An equally friendly lady greeted me, and asked me if I’d like a drink. I broke my personal 6 PM rule, and ordered – also with irony – a Helen of Troy ($11), made with St. Germain, Pinot Grigio, fresh basil, and a splash of soda. Like lekkerwijn, I thought my drink was just a little too sweet, and that “splash of soda” was a pretty small smash because I detected zero carbonation. It was okay, and pleasant for half a glass, but I never did finish it.

I really only wanted an entree, but also wanted to try a little something small just to taste, so I got one dip – the Tyrokafteri ($6), as lekkerwijn described, “a delightful spread of feta cheese, roasted red pepper, olive oil, and thyme.” Honestly, I didn’t think it was all that delightful, and it was ferociously strong, really just mashed up feta, with just enough red pepper to turn it orange, and served refrigerator cold with an ice-cream scoop. A few bites, and I knew I was pretty much done with it. I recommend for solo diners to order something a little less overwhelming – the Tyrokafteri belongs in the trio of dips; not by itself (sort of like blue cheese belongs on a cheese plate; not by itself). It was served, however, with freshly baked pita, cut into wedges, that was delicious and still very warm.

If, at this point, you think this is going to be a negative review, you’re wrong. These first two items were incidentals, and largely a result of me not ordering well. For my entree (which was essentially my entire meal), I ordered a daily special of Sauteed Filet of Sole ($12) with green beans and lemon potatoes. While this may sound somewhat ordinary, it was anything but; I would say that for $12, it was the best fish dish I’ve had in memory. Both sides of the fish, each one split, provided four ample filets of perfectly cooked sole. It was every-so-lightly breaded with an egg batter on the top side only, and the batter was so thin and subtle that someone scarfing down their food might not even notice it, but it was beautiful, almost like a thin tempura, and made a great dish something even better than that. Both the fish and the roasted, bite-size pieces of potato were amply covered in a reduced lemon sauce that is what I dream about in Greek restaurants, but so rarely find. Tart, thick, and full of flavor, it amplified both of these items, and was perfectly complemented by the green beans which were lightly mixed with an elegant tomato sauce. What a great, satisfying, filling plate of food this was for $12!

Nearly all the pita and dip remained, so I packaged them up and took them with me. That evening, after letting the dip sit out all afternoon, I had it with a couple of beers, and *then* it was just what I wanted – it wasn’t the dip that was the problem; it was the time of day and my body chemistry (I usually go light for lunch – and even the fish by itself was really too much for me even though I somehow managed to finish every bite).

I have maintained Trapezaria in Italic, and moved it up to the #1 slot in North Rockville in the Dining Guide. I don’t think the restaurant is as transporting as you’ll read elsewhere (the entire time you’re there, the ample windows remind you that you’re smack in the middle of downtown Rockville), but it is an excellent restaurant, and I urge people to try it for lunch – the prices are low, and it was nearly empty. And gosh that lemon sauce was delicious.

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