Taste the Mediterranean in Amherst

By Ellie Rulon-Miller

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Amherst is riddled with restaurants. Dishes are available in styles from around the world covering various price ranges, all concentrated in a very small area. It’s rare to find so many options in one area, especially in a small town. Thankfully, Amherst has several diverse student bodies with people who crave cuisine running the entire spectrum of food.

Taking a stroll down East and North Pleasant Streets into the downtown area, dozens of food options line the sidewalk. They taunt and tempt passersby with enticing scents and expansive menus.

One recent addition to Amherst’s food scene is the Mediterranean and Persian restaurant Moti.

Located on North Pleasant Street in the block of food stops between Subway and Stackers, Moti appears to be dark with a mysterious air from the outside. Walking inside there is a curtain between the door and the main floor of the restaurant, where the customer is greeted by a friendly and helpful staff with extensive knowledge of the menu and what drinks to pair with certain meals.

There are few ways to accurately describe the atmosphere of the restaurant that would do Moti any justice. Perhaps the best description of a sit-down meal there would be “utterly romantic.”

The walls in Moti’s two small and cozy dining areas are decorated in a cohesive manner, with a brick wall lined with candles (remaining unlit, perhaps due to the obvious fire hazard such a display poses) and even a beautifully detailed ceiling. The wall behind one row of tables is draped with light purple fabric and next to it is a small bar stocked with fine wines and a few beer options.

Moti’s menu falls in what most college students would consider a mid-price range. A dinner wrap with the least expensive glass of red wine and a baklava dessert fell just over $20. However, most items on the menu are a few dollars pricier than what this writer opted to order.

The restaurant’s dinner menu has a number of options. Their wraps are the least costly dinner choices and come with the option of either pita and hummus or potato strings. The lower price does not equal less flavor as the wraps are loaded with brilliant taste and texture combinations.

The Saffron Chicken Kabob wrap is among the best. It tastes completely fresh and the saffron and spice marinated chicken is delectable. This wrap coupled with pita and hummus is an incredible combination, especially if customers are looking for a few more varied textures in their meals.

Moti also offers a freshly made baklava as a dessert option. For a low price, diners can get a sizable piece of baklava perfect for splitting.

The drink list also offers a wide selection of wines, beer and cocktails that seem to have been specifically picked to complement the style of food. While a glass of wine is a little pricey, with the proper funds and a taste for the drink the order is completely well worth it.

There is only one downside to Moti, and it isn’t an uncommon one in restaurants in the Amherst area. The delivery service can be less than prompt, sometimes taking upwards of an hour to get an order to its destination from the time that the order was placed.

Moti is a restaurant that begs to be tried. After one meal, it calls to you. Though the space is small and it can be easy to disregard walking down the street, Moti has something for every taste. It is a delight for all.

Ellie Rulon-Miller can be reached at [email protected]