A few weeks ago, my dinner club got together for our April meeting! We went to Maydan, and it was probably the best place we’ve been to yet on our food tour. It’s extremely hard to get a reservation at Maydan, but our fearless leader Julie was able to snag us one. Reservations go live on their Resy page four weeks in advance at midnight. We logged on right at midnight of our desired date, and the only reservation still available was 9:45pm—so you really have to act fast. But, y’all, it is SO WORTH IT.
Let me back it up quickly before I dive into why I absolutely loved Maydan. If you’ve been reading here for a while, you may remember in December of last year, my friends Julie, Taylor, and I founded a dinner club. We meet once a month on a Friday night to try a new restaurant in DC, and we take turn picking the restaurants. It’s been such a fun way to work through my DC food bucket list. This real life dinner club inspired the dinner club series here on the blog, where I share recaps of our actual dinner club meetings and other restaurants I think are worthy of a post. If you’re looking for a fun way to explore your own city, I can’t recommend a dinner club enough.
Since our reservation wasn’t until 9:45pm on this particular night, we started the night off with a few pre-dinner drinks at Bar Pilar and Provision 14, both a short walking distance from Maydan if you also have a later reservation. When it was close to our reservation time, we walked over. Maydan is down an alley—you would have no idea it’s there unless you were looking for it! But, it’s hard to miss it because of the big, beautiful door marking its entrance. Once you walk through that door, you’re transported to another world, one far away from DC.
At the center of the restaurant is a large open fire where they cook many of their dishes. It’s not too smoky at all, but your clothes will pick up a campfire smell, so I definitely recommend wearing clothes that are easy to wash.
We were seated upstairs, and found the service at Maydan to be unbeatable. Our waitress spent a solid 10 minutes going over the menu with us, and even sent up a few dishes en gratis. Whatever you eat at Maydan, you’re in for a treat—but I would definitely make sure you order a wide variety of condiments for the table. They are $1/each and really where Maydan shines. We tried the harissa, tahina, ezme, and toum, and the toum was by far our favorite. It tasted like a garlic butter, and was amazing to eat with the fresh pita bread they kept sending to our table.
We probably over-ordered, but we wanted to try so many things! We ordered the halloumi cheese, Beiruti hummus, carrots, asparagus, and shrimp to start, and then went with the saffron lamb kebabs and tenderloin kebabs as our main meal. We paired all the dishes with the various condiments we had on our table and so there were so many flavor profiles to be enjoyed. Prior to this dinner at Maydan, I had never really enjoyed North African and Middle Eastern cuisine, but it was so amazing and a good reminder I need to be an adventurous eater more often.
I’ll also note that our dinner club dinners usually run about $100/person, including food and alcohol. Maydan was actually our cheapest meal yet—and we probably ordered the most food! We clocked in at about $85/each. It’s definitely a special occasion or splurge place, still, but definitely not more expensive than comparable fine dining options. I can’t wait to return!