Eating international food sends your palate to a whole new world, just as napping on egyptian-cotton sheets sends your whole body to Egypt. Take your appetite on a trip with this Groupon to Axum Restaurant. Choose between the following options:
- For $20, you get a three-course dinner for two (up to a $40.90 total value), which includes the following:
- Two appetizers (up to a $5 value each)
- Two entrees (up to a $12.95 value each)
One dessert (a $5 value)<p>
- For $40, you get a three-course dinner for four (up to an $81.80 total value), which includes the following:
- Four appetizers (up to a $5 value each)
- Four entrees (up to a $12.95 value each)
- Two desserts (a $5 value each)<p>
At Axum Restaurant, dining companions gather around a cornucopia of Ethiopian food, where utensil-free hands plunge into piles of spiced meats and veggies cushioned by foundations of spongy injera flatbread. Appetites embrace appetizers such as sambusa pastries packed with sauteed lentils and jalapeño peppers, served with enough honey and red-chili paste to tie-dye your napkin. During the second course, vegetarians can plant fingers in atakilit wot—a stew of cabbage, carrots, and potato chunks stir-fried with spices such as ginger and turmeric—and carnivores can tear into doro wot, a chicken drumstick simmered in spicy berbere sauce and herbal butter infused with cardamom and cinnamon. The dessert selection veers northward, collecting Middle Eastern–inspired sweets such as baklava and napoleon—Greek puffed pastries blooming with fruit and cream.
Though drinks aren’t included in the Groupon, diners can conjure spirits from a list of authentic Ethiopian libations. Beers such as Bedele, Hakim Stout, and St. George ($3.50 each) satisfy seekers of suds, and wine enthusiasts drizzle tej ($5/glass), a house-made honey wine bottled by Axum’s resident honey lord, upon palates.
Flavor and texture are integral to more than just the entrees at Axum Restaurant. Entire tables' orders emerge on communal serving platters, blending the aromas of collard greens with those of housemade cottage cheese, sautéed beef with rosemary and herb butter, and lamb shanks in fiery berbere sauce. Diners sop up the spicy, savory fare using scraps of injera, a spongy flatbread, in place of silverware or food-filled Super Soakers.
The cuisine is offset by the dining room’s relatively austere ambiance, where fuchsia tablecloths add a vibrant pop of color to the space's soothing neutral tones. Pendant lamps hang directly above the bar area, illuminating the bartenders as they pour Ethiopian beers and uncork bottles of honey wine, which is made in-house by drilling into the subterranean honey reservoirs.