As children, we’re instructed not to eat with our hands. But at Teff, a newly opened Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant in Stamford, CT, you’re supposed to do just that.
On the brink of Harborview and a stone’s throw away from downtown, Teff’s location is ideal. It sits in the space that formerly housed the Red Sea Deli. The Mekonen family owned the deli for 14 years. Although they mainly served classic American fare there, they offered Ethiopian food from Thursday-Saturday.
“We had good reception, people wanted it, but it was time consuming,” says Elsa Mekonen, Teff’s operations manager. “We thought it would be good to have a full time Ethiopian restaurant.”
The concept led to the creation of Teff, which officially opened for business on July 30.
Hadas Mekonen, matriarch and chef, grew up in Eritrea, a small country that used to be part of Ethiopia. She was the third oldest in a family of 16, so learning how to cook was essential to help provide for the family. At age 9 she started observing how her mother browned and prepared the spices. From there, she learned how to cook entire dishes.