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Babouche in Park Slope?

n
neversent Mar 5, 2007 07:15 PM

I walked past what I think is a new Moroccan restaurant on 5th Ave in the Slope, called Babouche. It's on a corner (can't remember which one, sorry!) and I believe it used to be a sort of high-end grocery. Has anyone been? The space looked nice.

  1. s
    suzannatouzet Jun 11, 2007 07:58 PM

    I was there for brunch with my husband and then for dinner with a girlfriend. I love it and am so glad we have this new addition to the 'hood. The food is excellent. not super cheap, but if you choose the cous cous, you get a good deal. the service is a little mediterranean, but that will improve with time. the ambiance is excellent. they have shishas to smoke after a certain time. the staff is very friendly. they have the best olives too! It's the corner of lincoln.

    3 Replies
    1. re: suzannatouzet
      j
      josh L Jul 10, 2007 06:44 AM

      ordered the fish tagine. while the waiter said it was made with striped bass, it was actually pretty fishy flounder or some other soft white fish. the dish lacked flavor and focus was pretty bad overall. i will not return to this joint.

      1. re: josh L
        l
        liqdstar Oct 13, 2007 07:32 AM

        I went last night and I wasn't impressed. First I ordered the tuna and it was WAY overcooked and tasted very fishy. It was supposed to come with avocado, but there was no avocado. I asked the waiter (in case they forgot it) and he said "if its not there, we must be out."

        Very pricey for a not so stellar dish.

        On the other hand, we had a pretty good lamb skewer app. The ambiance is excellent, very nice decor. But I wouldn't return either, the $$ are too high for the food, which I think could do with more flavor.

        1. re: liqdstar
          m
          mmm...food Feb 19, 2008 09:51 AM

          We went to babouche over the weekend and were pleasantly surprised, given some of the reviews.

          The group ordered 4 appetizers and 4 main dishes. The appetizers were very tasty and the portions were large (we could have ordered just 2 and split them amongst 4 people but we behaved like gluttons).

          The Briouats, pastries filled which ground chicken, almond and cinammon and dusted with confectioner's sugar, were surprisingly tasty. The mediterranean salad, was really a mixed appetizer plate with 3 different items: Zealouk, a mashed eggplant dish with tomatoes and spices, (very tasty and and obviously freshly made); Hummus (the only disappointment of the meal - it was bland and needed salt - I guess that's what you get for ordering hummus at a Moroccan place); and a very tasty tomato and arugula salad with citrus vinaigrette. The chicken kebab appetizer was very good. The chicken was moist and flavorful and came with a large side salad. Finally, we had a lentil salad which was made with French lentils, onions, tomatoes and avocados (they didn't forget them) which was tangy and refreshing.

          For main dishes we had vegetable couscous, an appetizer lamb kebab, shrimp and the chicken tagine. Everyone was very happy with their respective dishes and the portions were very generous. The presentation was very nice and the flavors were great. I will note in particular that the shrimp was a hit - there seemed to be no complaints about its freshness (unlike some of the other seafood related complaints on this thread). I would also say that the couscous in particular was very fluffy and fresh. I tend to put great stock in how well a Moroccan place makes its couscous.

          For dessert, we shared a Moroccan version of a napoleon, which I thought was very tasty. We also had some excellent mint tea.

          The service was fantastic as was the ambience. We were in the back room) which is decorated with traditional Moroccan low tables and couches and has a dark, loungey vibe. There is also a lounge downstairs and there is a pretty cool little semi-private seating area.

          I would also note that the wine list is thoughtful and includes some tasty and not incredibly marked-up selections from France and Spain, along with some wines from Lebanon and Morocco.

          This is the type of dining experience that does a fairly good job of marrying a night out at a lounge with dinner, which I feel is a good addition to Park Slope.

          Although this restaurant is a little pricey for Park Slope I also think that the staff has made some serious attempts to create an ambience and the portions are fairly large, which makes it worthwhile in my book.

          Finally, they are only serving beer and wine right now but expect to have a full liquor license shortly.

          I hope folks will give this place a shot.

    2. h
      hellgate May 13, 2007 09:18 PM

      Yes, this Babouche is a branch of the SoHo restaurant of the same name.

      I had a great meal there recently. Very comfortable, friendly service, and nicely priced BYOB wine from Red, White & Bubbly down the street.

      Cous-cous, pastilla, chicken skewers (for kids), string beans (nicely garlicky) and lentil salad were excellent. Oddly, they don't serve "turkish" coffee, but the espresso was fine.

      1. n
        nicopad Mar 17, 2007 05:55 AM

        I don't know anything about the owners but I live down the block and the weather forced us to audible our way to Babouche last night.
        It is still byo, but they did seem to have wine for sale. The service was spotty- an owner type was very chatty regarding suggestions but then our entrees were served without clearing the apps.
        We had the veggie plate and duck confit apps which were both good. I had the pastilla which was odd (very desserty) but tasty. kefta tagine was the biggest hit while couscous royale was a bit watery.
        Overall, we were happy if not ecstatic. I'd go and sit at the bar again and the fire is very cozy.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nicopad
          kraw Apr 30, 2007 12:22 PM

          I went on Sunday night, had the Kefta Tagine, which was delicious. My friend had the shrimp with coriander and pesto and that was also really good, but the other dishes failed to impress. The music was cranked up high (on a Sunday night at 7? It was like dance club level -- kind of ridiculous), the service was terrible, and the prices were pretty darn high for couscous dishes. I hope these guys get their act together because it's a beautiful space, and when those dishes worked, they really worked. I had leftovers today, and the kefta tasted even better.

        2. j
          josh L Mar 16, 2007 09:42 PM

          Ispoke with the owner/manager who said they own a restaurant in Manhattan and never owned anything in Bay Ridge.

          2 Replies
          1. re: josh L
            lambretta76 Mar 18, 2007 09:49 AM

            They are a branch of the less-than-stellar Moroccan lounge in SoHo called Babouche and have nothing to do with the Bay Ridge place called Les Babouches. (Babouche is a common Moroccan restaurant name, referring to the incredibly comfortable shoes seen throughout the many markets of Morocco.)

            1. re: lambretta76
              pitu Mar 18, 2007 02:21 PM

              THANK YOU for clearing this up!

          2. j
            jcf Mar 9, 2007 11:52 AM

            It's on 5th Avenue and Lincoln. We ate there last night and it was really wonderful. The portions were so huge that I had half of my cous-cous royale (chicken, lamb, merquez sausage) for lunch today. They don't have their liquor license yet, so rush on over while you still can bring your own booze. It's really lovely in the restaurant and the staff couldn't be nicer.

            3 Replies
            1. re: jcf
              c
              chowkitty Mar 10, 2007 03:46 PM

              I was really looking forward to trying the couscous royale after reading your post! But I went today during the day and they were serving brunch, which is not my thing. Did you try the tagines or bistaya?

              1. re: chowkitty
                j
                jcf Mar 12, 2007 10:47 AM

                My husband had the lamb and prune tagine and it was great. And - if you have kids - the chicken skewers, while not cheap, are a crowd pleaser. (Actually the chicken skewers comes with a huge salad, which my 4-year-old wouldn't touch. Next time I'll get her the skewers and have the salad as my appetiser. Then the price will be right!)

                1. re: jcf
                  jen kalb Mar 12, 2007 11:33 AM

                  good to get the reports. Has anyone verified that this is the same bunch that operated Babouches on 3rd Ave? Do they have the bellydancer (!!) in the 5th Ave store?

            2. famdoc Mar 8, 2007 08:41 AM

              I continue to be a fan of Fez in Windsor Terrace for great couscous, tagines and desserts.
              The prices are lower than those at Babouche.

              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/35713...

              1. pitu Mar 8, 2007 07:59 AM

                I read on this board that a Moroccan place from elsewhere in Bklyn was moving to that location, but I thought it was coming from Carroll Gardens, not Bay Ridge.

                I walked by - it's lovely.
                But it better be reeeealy good 'cause it's not inexpensive.
                Tangines $17, entrees in the mid-20s.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pitu
                  k
                  Kitchop Mar 8, 2007 03:37 PM

                  I had never been to Maison de Couscous in Bay Ridge before the owners sold it and opened their Les Babouches also in Bay Ridge. But I'm pretty sure that Les Babouches, which was on Third Ave (the neighborhood's restaurant row) was significantly more expensive than Maison de Couscous which was (and still is under different ownership) on a side street in the 70s off of Fifth Ave. If they are the same owners and just opened a new restaurant on Fifth Ave in Park Slope, I guess the pattern of moving up to owning more and more expensive restaurants is forming. Still, I ate at Les Babouches in Bay Ridge and thought the food was good and heard nothing but raves about Maison de Coucous when they owned it. So, the prospects for good food at this new Moroccan restaurant looks promising if it is the same owners.

                2. k
                  Kitchop Mar 7, 2007 03:56 PM

                  A Moroccan restaurant called Les Babouches on Third Ave in Bay Ridge closed a few months ago. It was good and I was sorry to see it gone. Their Bay Ridge space was small but very nice. I don't know if the new restaurant in Park Slope is related but, if it is, it's a good sign. Hopefully, others who know more will reply.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Kitchop
                    j
                    JFores Feb 19, 2008 11:48 AM

                    I used to be a waiter at the old one... I wonder where Boo went.

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