Omnivore - Ziba's opens in Solstice Cafe space

New restaurant spotlights Middle Eastern flavors

Ziba's Restaurant and Wine Bar (562 Boulevard) is now open in the space recently vacated by Solstice Cafe. The owner is Marcie Meirndorf, who was general manager of Eclipse di Luna for some time. Chef is Landon Thompson, who has worked in a handful of Atlanta's better restaurants.

"Ziba" means "beautiful" in Farsi and the restaurant's Mediterranean menu, which changes often, does include a number of Middle Eastern influences. For example, my favorite dish (above) was a starter of clams steamed in white wine and scattered with merguez sausage and feta cheese.

We also ordered the "steak chartare" (above, right). It's ground steak that is charred five seconds on each side. Red onions and capers  add sharp notes to the beef's flavor, which is enriched by a raw quail egg.

The clams and ground steak were among 12 small plates, two of which could easily make a meal. We, however, sampled two entrees — a riff on chicken spanikopita and baby octopus braised in seafood broth with clams, fennel and yellow rice.

The restaurant has been completely redone with strong colors and chandeliers that immediately reminded me of the Addams Family home.  Check it out, although be warned that the restaurant has not been granted its pouring license yet. I'll have more to say in "Grazing."

(Photos by Cliff Bostock)