I loved being in that legislative office. Mickey gave me actual tasks to accomplish, instead of the normal intern duties of making copies, getting coffee, and taking documents from the Farnum (Senate) building to the House Office Building. I also became close friends with Mickey's Constituent Relations Director and sister-in-law, the 60-something Scottish firecracker Helena. Helena and I would frequently decide that Mickey could go without us for a few hours and would head south down Washington Square to have lunch at a restaurant that quickly became our favorite place- Restaurant Mediteran.
I believe my work in Mickey's office started in 2003, which means that I've been eating at Mediteran for 9 years. I had my 24th birthday party there. I finally convinced my parents to listen to my advice for once, and they too became Mediteran devotees. I've extolled to many people the necessity of making a lunch reservation, especially when the legislature is in town, because the little cafe becomes completely packed.
|The gorgeous, colorful presentation of the salmon isn't lost on this sister.|
1. Igor, who is 30ish, is the owner. His father, Mirko, is the waiter. Mirko drew all of the artwork that hangs on the walls. You might think that Mirko hates you, but he's just prickly in that Eastern European way.
2. At lunch, I always order one of the specials. I don't even open the menu. The specials are listed on a dry-erase board outside.
3. At dinner, I love the salmon and the spaghetti bolognese. They have the best spaghetti, and some of the best salmon, in town.
|This isn't the spaghetti bolognese, it's the spaghetti Balkan. Also delicious.|
4. Do yourself a favor and go in around Christmastime. The decorations are incredible.
5. At dinner, you will be presented with dessert after your meal. These desserts are all house-made (by Igor's mother) and gorgeous. They taste as good as they look.
6. You won't be presented with a check at your table. When you are ready to pay, head to the counter where Mirko will ring you up. Yes, you can use a debit or credit card. And yes, you should tip profusely.
7. Much like Soup Spoon, you might leave Mediteran smelling like food. If that kind of thing matters to you, you might want to leave your coat in the car (although I personally wouldn't think it was a bad thing to snuggle up to someone who smelled like some of the most delicious food in the city.)
|Every dessert is worth the calories. I don't say that lightly.|
9. They don't have a liquor license and no, they don't want one. Don't expect to have a drink with dinner.
10. If you're there for lunch, don't forget to put money in your meter. Those meter maids don't play.
Mediteran is downtown on Washington Square, across the street from the Cooley Law Library. There is also an adjacent cafe, but all my expertise pertains only to the sit-down restaurant.