Last week, I ate dinner at Waterfalls on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. While I was impressed with all the dishes, from the fatoush salad with crispy bits of pita and faint scent of dill to the eggplant stuffed with ground meat and served over a light tomato sauce, the dessert took me by surprise.
Always wanting to try something new, I asked the owner what he would recommend, fully expecting him to suggest one of the more esoteric dishes on the dessert menu, such as basbousa. Instead, he recommended the one dessert I was quite familiar with, baklava. He did so with such confidence that I obliged, reluctantly. And when I had a taste, I could see why he recommended it without hesitation: The baklava was not sickeningly sweet as it can be in some restaurants. The flavors were delicate, and I could distinctly taste beyond the butter and honey to orange flower water in the pastry and the crushed pistachios that covered the baklava.
Afterward, I told the owner how pleased I was, that I have had baklava a hundred times but this was probably the best I had ever had.
If you haven’t been to Waterfalls, it’s worth a try, whether you know Middle Eastern food well or not. Be sure to bring your own wine. And be open to the owner’s suggestions.