The crazy members of the Vegas Wineaux Wine Club met last Saturday evening, and our own Kimberly was the host.  The theme was Safari and it proved to me once and for all that we are, indeed, creative. Even if nuts.

There were lizards, monkeys, apes (all toys, of course), backpacks, outback hats, leopard prints, khaki, and tiger stripes.  The wines were from Africa and Australia.  My favorite wine of the evening was a Tukulu Pinotage (2006? I didn’t take notes!) which was as smoky and luscious as any I’ve ever had.  I shamelessly stole the cork.

The food was wonderful and varied.  There were different styles of plantains, there were Samosas, spiced chicken, cheeses, and snacks.  I have to brag about what I brought to the party.  Real African food!

It was real African food because I purchased it from a small, hard-to-see restaurant called the Blue Nile.  The Blue Nile is an Ethiopian restaurant located on West Desert Inn, and it almost appears to blend into the relatively industrial neighborhood in which it resides.  I did two U-turns (Legal! Really! Trust me!) before I was able to drive into its driveway.

It’s a small, dark restaurant with deep red walls and wood trim.  The bar area is spare and gleaming.  I ordered the vegetarian platter and something called Awaze Tibs.

The vegetarian platter (not exactly a platter – more later) was delicious, with salad, collards, creamy lentils, chickpeas, cabbage, and carrots.

The Awaze Tibs was made of beef short rib ends cooked and served with Awaze, the hot and luscious Ethiopian, um, *salsa*!

No one (‘cept me) had had Ethiopian food before and were surprised about several things:

  • No plates.  All food is served on a large circle of injera, the indigenous Ethiopian bread with a texture similar to sponge. Everybody around the injera shares!
  • No utensils. What do you think fingers are for?!?
  • Spice! and flavor! Lots of spices and flavors!  The vegetables were absolutely delicious, and the beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender.  The unusual texture and taste of the injera saw people eating it just for fun, but it was the only way to scoop up the food.

At the end of the evening, Kimberly opened up a bottle of 1998 Dom Perignon Champagne to celebrate.

Yup. We’re pretty doggone special.

Shameless plug here!  If you’re a Vegas local and are looking for a fun wine club, check out Vegas Wineaux.  We screen every member, so it’s not a haphazard list of people.  Just click on the link on the sidebar to take you to our Meetup site.

The Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant
4180 W. Desert Inn Rd
Las Vegas, NV 89102

Ya gotta go!

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