Dukem offers a new choice for Ethiopian dining

By Sloane Brown

This is the season to be feasting. Dukem Restaurant opened just a week ago on Maryland Avenue south of the Meyerhoff. A brother to D.C.'s popular Ethiopian restaurant of the same name, this Dukem is also owned by brothers Tefera and Getachew Zewdie.

The Zewdies bought the property -- which used to be another Ethiopian joint, Ghion -- a year and a half ago and have remodeled the place. Right now, just the downstairs is open -- with about 25 seats and a bar. Getachew Zewdie describes the place as "cozy and nice," with lots of dark mahogany touches, similar to its elder sibling.

In the next few months, the second-floor dining room will add 50 more seats.

The menu is the same is that in D.C., but the prices are about a buck less here, generally ranging from $8.95 to $15.95. There are various lamb, beef, fish, chicken and vegetarian dishes, as well as combo plates, which will run you a bit more money.

There's doro wot, a chicken stew made with legs or thighs marinated in lemon, sauteed in butter and stewed in a red pepper sauce, flavored with onions, garlic, ginger and cardamom.

The Dukem Kitfo is a mixture of minced beef with homemade cottage cheese, herbal butter and Ethiopian spices. Dukem Special Tibs is a lamb dish marinated in a "secret sauce" and sauteed with onion, rosemary, tomato, garlic and jalapeno.

The complete menu is online at www.dukemrestaurant.com.

Dukem Restaurant (410-385-0318) is at 1100 Maryland Ave. Its hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It will be open New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.