A small, homey storefront with leatherette seats and a flat-screen TV suspended from the ceiling, Etete sits in the edgy neighborhood of "Little Ethiopia" and draws locals of all extractions, who gather here to feast on mounds of spicy lentils, yams, collard greens, and stewed meats. Nearly everything comes piled atop a pizza-size disc of spongy njera bread, with a basket of more on the side; in Ethiopian tradition, the bread is used as plate, fork, and napkin (tear off a piece, and use it as a scoop). Flaky triangular sambusa pies, filled with fiery lentils and peppers, make a savory snack.
Tip: Tej honey wine is at its best consumed from a traditional, pear-shaped glass; ask one of the friendly staff to show you the proper technique.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.