In general, the food was not as spicy as I've had in other Ethiopian restaurants. And the hotter dishes, though not particularly fiery, packed a much more desirable punch. The two meat-based wat stews, a chicken doro wat and a beef zilzil wat, were intensely flavorful. The vegetarian lentils and split peas tended to blandness and a dull similarity in taste and texture, but other vegetable preparations on the platter added contrast and interest, particularly the superb chopped collards with garlic and chiles, and the well-seasoned sautéed cabbage. Always there was that interplay between the spongy, faintly tangy injera and the stews and sauces.
After dinner, we lounged as the waiter kept refilling cup after cup of Ethiopian spice tea. The four of us split a piece of Italian cream torte covered thinly with almonds and dusted with powdered sugar, rounding out an interesting evening.
After a few years when it was only open for dinner, the Blue Nile began offering lunch again in February, this time with table service and a menu that ventures into more fusionist territory.