50 Best Restaurants 2018: Enatye Ethiopian Restaurant

An Ethiopian restaurant in Herndon

Photo by Stefanie Gans

Kitfo arrives just warm enough to let the cardamom and mitmita, the hotter cousin to berbere, another of Ethiopia’s spice blends, greet you before diving into this mound of raw beef. Ask for the housemade ayib, a cheese similar to ricotta in its soft texture and mild taste, on the side to better understand the nuance in the meat and to vary bites—not that it will be hard with a ring of other tastes around the edge of injera. Find: rust-colored spicy, savory lentils that are probably the best thing on the plate; thick swaths of soft carrots cutting all that heat with its sweetness; nutty shiro, a thick chickpea puree; and sweet and earthy mushrooms spun into a smooth scoop. Though not many area restaurants serve a mushroom side, much of the menu at Herndon’s Enatye reads the same as other area Ethiopian restaurants. But here they make the injera in-house, a combination of barley, flour and teff, and the berbere is blended in Ethiopia by the owner’s mother and shipped stateside where guests can buy it by the pound. It’s even better than taking home leftovers.

Enatye Ethiopian Restaurant
Ethiopian | $$
275 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon

Loading cart ...