Editor’s Note: Mazi is now closed. The restaurant was sold to new owners in late 2021 and in June 2022, they announced they would be rebranding as Fresh Breakfast and Lunch.
Though I have been doing this blog for more than six years, I still get excited about every new restaurant that opens up. Most times I wait a little bit before I visit, but every now and then there’s a place that I can’t wait to try.
That was the case with Mazi Greek Inspired, West Reading’s new fine dining destination.
Mazi opened in August in the former Bistro 614 along Penn Avenue. We never made it to Bistro 614 before it closed in 2019 so I can’t speak to what the space looked like before, but the new restaurant is beautiful.
Creamy gold cushioned benches line the mirrored walls, filling the room with a golden hue. Beautiful stained glass sits above the large picture window, which accordions open to bring an alfresco feel to patrons inside.
It’s an impressive place, for sure, with an impressive menu to match.
Julie and I haven’t had a true date night since February so we came in prepared to splurge. It started with an appetizer: the sesame feta.
On the plate were two wedges of feta cheese, lightly seared and topped with sesame seeds, a basil leaf and a drizzle of honey. With them were pita points – delicious on their own, but a perfect match for the soft cheese. I’ve found that feta can be overpowering at times, but here it was perfect. Between the sear and the sweet honey drizzle, the creamy cheese almost ate like a dessert.
Along with the appetizer, we were also given two slices of olive bread with oil for dipping. The bread was very good, obviously freshly made. The slices were just big enough to give us a good taste without filling us up for our meals to come.
For my meal, I ordered the lamb shank yvetsi, braised lamb shank served over a plate of tomato orzo. The lamb was delicious, but it was even better soaked in the juicy tomato sauce from the orzo. I did find it to be a little harder to cut and chew than I was expecting. Later I heard a waiter at another table describe it as fall-off-the-bone. It was delicious, but it certainly didn’t fall off the bone.
It was also a lot of food and about half of the shank came home with me (the waitress took the plate, boxed and bagged it up for me, and sat it down between our table and the empty table next to ours to limit contact).
Normally Julie goes for spanakopita whenever she sees it on the menu, but she skipped it this time in favor of the Chilean sea bass. The fish was served over a red pepper feta coulis with a side of tri-color couscous.
I am not a big fan of fish, but I tried some of Julie’s and it was very good. The seabass didn’t have a whole lot of flavor of its own. Instead, it absorbed the flavors from the delicious red pepper sauce. The couscous was also very good, well-seasoned with added spinach leaves for more flavor.
While we both would have been satisfied had we left after our entrees, we had to hear what was on the dessert menu. And when we heard there was baklava ala mode, how could we refuse?
Our waitress dropped off a square-shaped bowl with a large scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and two mini rolls of baklava. And everything was drizzled with honey.
This was an indulgence, and a delicious one at that. The baklava was melt-in-your-mouth good with honey soaking through the layers of phyllo dough and just enough of the nutty flavor from the chopped walnuts (I’m pretty sure). We may have left feeling very full, but it was totally worth it.
Our meal wasn’t cheap – an appetizer, two entrees, dessert and a mixed drink for Julie totaled just over $100 – but it was totally worth it, too.
I don’t foresee us becoming regulars at Mazi but for a special occasion or date night, we would definitely visit again.
We were glad we didn’t wait any longer to enjoy a date night, and we were very glad that we chose Mazi.
Food: Very Good
Service: Very Good
Price: A Little Pricey
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