The Washington Post’s food reporter/columnist Tim Carman has featured Senegalese restaurant Koité Grill, calling it “standout Senegalese cooking [that] builds on char, smoke, and butchery”:
The Koite approach to dibi lamb, you could argue, is a departure from numerous Senegalese preparations, which marinate the meat in vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic and other aromatics, often to subvert the gamy flavors of lamb. Omar prefers a less-adulterated dibi lamb. Perhaps that’s because he comes from a family that butchers its own meat: They value the natural flavor and texture of lamb, end of story.
Koité Grill has become quite popular since its September 2020 opening in the former home of Abol Ethiopian Restaurant at 8626 Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring. Mr. Carman’s colleague Tom Sietsema praised the restaurant last June, calling it one of his “7 favorite places to eat right now”:
Their joint effort is a primer on the food of their native Senegal. Yassa is tender baked chicken spiked with Dijon mustard, black pepper and ginger, and smothered with onions cooked to near-liquid softness. Dibi finds chunks of lamb or goat that benefit from an overnight sit with garlic and chile powder and Omar’s knack for making sure each morsel leaves the charcoal fire crisp on all sides, but never burnt. A peanut butter sauce lends its charm to maafe, a hearty stew of chicken or meat, plus potatoes and carrots that sponge the flavors of the sauce. Entrees come with a choice of strapping sides. The likelihood of leftover jollof rice or vermicelli, jazzed up with green olives and banana peppers, is strong. But you’ll be glad to revisit them come midnight snack or next-day lunch.
Praised by both Carman and Sietsema, the aforementioned dibi is quite popular on Yelp, described on their menu as “house special juicy tender charcoal grill lamb, goat or chicken, with grilled seasoned onions and a dash of special Dijon hot pepper sauce.”
Koité Grill is open from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday through Thursday, and 12 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is open for dine-in and takeout, and pickup orders can be placed online. Delivery is available via DoorDash.
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