Chicago Eats: Oda Mediterranean Cuisine | chicago foodie girl


Chicago Eats: Oda Mediterranean Cuisine

If you follow me on Instagram, you may recall me mentioning earlier this month that one of my goals for this year is to feature more spots in my 'hood. Typically, when I go out to eat in the Andersonville/Edgewater area, I try to disconnect from food blogger mode (aka not take a million photos and actually eat hot food!). As much as I enjoy those non-blogger meals, it means that I often never end up sharing the fab eats in my neighborhood. That definitely needs to change, as there are so many fantastic places on the far north side everyone needs to check out, starting with one of my newest favorites Oda Mediterranean Cuisine!

Tucked into the quiet northern end of Andersonville, Oda offers diners a cozy atmosphere, an interesting selection of Georgian wines, and some of the best Turkish comfort food you'll find in Chicago. Owners Marina Cardak and her daughter Tamta Meladze are well known in the neighborhood as the former owners of the much-loved Turkish Cuisine restaurant that left Andersonville several years ago. Thankfully, they're back in the 'hood and better than ever! Their newest venture, Oda, not only gives diners an authentic taste of Turkey but also features the flavors of neighboring Mediterranean nations including France, the Middle East, Italy, and Cardak's home country of Georgia.

Jess and I knew we were in for a fantastic meal as soon as we walked in and discovered the warm and intimate space filled with cute touches and the homey aromas permeating the air.

Oda offers a wide selection of Mediterranean and Turkish wines, including traditional qvevri wine (made in buried clay jars). We particularly enjoyed the Tchotiashvili Rkatsiteli, a complex and herbal dry white wine.

Mixed Appetizer Platter: hummus, babaganoush, atom, ezme, dolma, and mini eggplant roulades. This is a perfect way to start any meal, as you get a little taste of everything - the hummus, atom, and dolma are especially nicely done.

Khachapuri Shampurze: Georgian cheesy bread served on a skewer. There are several variations of this spit-roasted, cheese-filled bread (based on region) and let me just say that I will never turn down this glistening cocoon of carby goodness filled with oozy molten cheese!

Charred Baby Octopus with silky roasted peppers, garlic confit, shallots, and roasted basil potatoes. The octopus was perfectly seared (there's nothing worse than rubbery octopus!) and the bright, garlicky sauce enhanced the tender meat.

Moussaka: baked eggplant, zucchini, cremini mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, mozzarella, feta, bechamel, and oda marinara (with optional meat). Not only is this moussaka deeply flavorful and absolutely delicious, but it also comes served under its own crunchy cheese arch. Ever since I tried this amazingness, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how I basically want to live under a beautiful arch of cheese. 🤣

Mushroom Stroganoff: caramelized mushrooms, sour cream, and bechamel. Both Jess and I agreed that along with the moussaka, this stroganoff was a major standout of our visit. It's creamy, rich, and hearty,  but still light enough to keep you from feeling overly stuffed at the end of the meal. This is definitely one of those comfort dishes that I will be revisiting several times this winter!

Of course, we had to end our meal with a round of Turkish Coffee and freshly-made Baklava. If you've never had Turkish coffee before, be forewarned, as it definitely packs a punch! In many regions, as with tea leaf reading, Turkish coffee cup-reading is a popular method of fortune-telling - your fortune can be told by the coffee grinds left in the cup.

If you're looking for a friendly and cozy environment and some seriously tasty food on the far north side, this homey neighborhood spot definitely should be on your list! You can try all of this deliciousness and more at Oda Mediterranean Cuisine: 5657 N Clark St., Chicago, IL.

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