My husband and I just got back from dinner at Bati Ethiopian Restaurant, in Fort Greene, and loved the whole experience – food, ambience, and service. Bati’s atmosphere is inviting and cozy—dark wood, white brick walls, bright Ethiopian-themed artwork, and the service was very friendly, attentive and quick. The menu offers beef, free-range poultry, and a large variety of vegetarian dishes. (Note: All the vegetarian dishes are vegan as well.) We ate the Doro Wett (chicken stew) and a combination of vegetarian dishes, which were all fresh, delicious and hearty, with generous portions.
Even though it was busy, owner Hibist Legesse made time to talk with me about her restaurant. (Meseret Kibret is also a partner in the restaurant).
Why “Bati”? Bati, the name of the restaurant, refers to a region in North Central Ethiopia known for its sprawling market, to the famous Ethiopian song “Ere Bati Bati”, and to “bati”, a type of music originating in the highlands of Ethiopia.
Why Fort Greene? Hibist, originally from Ethiopia, moved to the US in her teens. Trips to BAM when she was living with her family in Harlem sparked an attraction to the Fort Greene area, and she has dreamed of opening a restaurant here ever since.
Can you describe the food? Traditional Ethiopian with a focus on nutrition and health. For example, by adding extra teff (type of flour) to the injera (spongy flatbread), we’re increasing the fiber and iron content of the bread. You can see the difference — the injera is a darker color. And by featuring healthy ingredients, such as flaxseed. We also plan to expand our vegetarian options.
Do you have a signature dish? The Ye Telba Fitfit is a special dish, made with lightly roasted freshly ground flaxseed in house dressing mixed with injera. It is packed with anti-oxidants and very good for you.
Who’s cooking in the kitchen? There are a number of chefs in the kitchen, all Ethiopian, and all, as is traditional in Ethiopia, female. This tradition is changing though, with many young men now learning to cook as well.
Address: 747 Fulton Street at South Portland (right next to Provisions), Fort Greene
Hours: Open every day
Starting this week (week of Jan 26th): Lunch 12-5pm; Dinner 5pm-Midnight
Takeout available; currently no delivery
BYOB until further notice (which is not a problem with Provisions right next door and Greene Grape a few doors down)
Welcome to the neighborhood! We will be coming back very soon!