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Apr 19, 2007 09:49 AM

Moroccan in NYC

I will be visitng my daughter in NYC next week, and wondered if there is any exceptional Moroccon cuisine in NYC? If not, we were going to go to Devi although I am confused as to the quality there because of past postings. Love Tamarind, just wanted to try something different. Obviously, looking for great ethnic. Coming from an ethnic-challenged region. Thank you in advance. WW

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  1. I like Zerza. I'd describe it as solid rather than exceptional. I'm not sure that there's a Devi-equivalent in terms of Moroccan restaurants.

    1. Another cute and inexpensive Morroccan place is Cafe Mogador in the East Village. And though I've never been, Nomad has been getting good reviews on this board and in last week's NYTimes restaurant review.

      1. Why not do both? I adore Devi and think the cuisine is superb, but if you're concerned about the mixed views posted here, try it for lunch and do Moroccan for dinner.

        Devi's lunch is a 3-course prix-fixe for $24.07, and all the selections are taken directly from the dinner menu. If you do decide to go, I highly recommend that you not miss the signature tandoor-grilled lamb chops. Sensational!

        As regards Moroccan cuisine, my recommendation would be Darna, on 2nd Av., b/t 34th & 35th Sts. Delicious food, good service, and attractive decor that will have you thinking you stumbled into Rick's Cafe.

        1 Reply
        1. re: RGR

          Thank you. A well thought out plan...I will follow it. WW

        2. Unfortunately the best Moroccan food I've had is not centrally located at all. Park Terrace Bistro has a terribly generic sounding name and a terribly generic facade, and is located all the way up on 207th and Broadway, but they do serve excellent Moroccan food. Especially their variety of tagines (changes daily).

          9 Replies
          1. re: ballulah

            I'm trying out Azza tomorrow night which is a brand new Moroccan spot. I'll be sure to report back on it. I get the feeling the focus is more scene than food though so it may not be what you are looking for.

            1. re: foodie4life

              I hope it surprises you and is scene and great that would be fun. WW

            2. re: ballulah

              Hmm, ballulah--if you liked them I'd be inclined to give Park Terrace Bistro another try, but alas, I found the food there as generic as their name and facade. I was actually contemplating moving up there, and decided that if Park Terrace Bistro was among the most highly regarded Inwood food options, I'd stay put.

              My favorite Moroccan is still Cafe Mogador. Their bastilla is the best I've tried, and their hot sauce is completely amazing.

              1. re: rose water

                I second Nomad, I had a wonderful lamb tagine and couscous there. They also recently had a great write-up in the NY Times. Bring cash or an AmEx card, though, they don't accept any other credit cards.

                1. re: rose water

                  Haven't tried Mogador, but it sounds worthy. I like Nomad, particularly their merguez, but must say the best tagine-style dish I've had in the city (and there's a place in Bklyn I haven't gotten too that's supposed to be very good) was a lamb shank with prunes at Park Terrace Bistro.

                  1. re: rose water

                    It's worth moving to Inwood if just for the Saturday Greenmarket in the summer and for Ft Tryon. We up-up-up-towners take our kicks where we can get 'em, and I'm often forgiving of my uptown options. That said, like Striver, one of the best tagine style dishes I've had was one at Park Terrace, and the mezze were unbelievably good. My tagine was a ground lamb patty/meatball kind of dish, with lots of tomato and saffron and cinnamon. The highly touted signature dish, 15th Century Couscous, is a total dud, though. What did you order?

                    1. re: ballulah

                      You're absolutely right. The Inwood greenmarket is great, has lots of great vendors, and is far, far better than my local option-the small, overpriced Harlem farmer's market at Morningside Park. And yes, the surrounding area is beautiful.

                      I'm almost positive that I ordered the lamb shank with prunes that Stiver mentioned. From what I remember, I found the lamb dry, and the sauce way undersalted.

                      As for mezze, I'll stick to my absolute favorite, Moustache, which I believe is related to Mamlouk, which TheDagster mentions below (not Moroccan though).

                      1. re: rose water

                        Bad night for the chef, rose water? My lamb shank was tender and flavorful; however, I'm a low salt guy in general, so I wouldn't have noticed undersalting. Mamlouk's looks interesting, but from the name and the dishes strikes me as an Egyptian restaurant, close to Maghreb but different. Is Moustache the "pitza" place?

                        1. re: Striver

                          Sure, Striver, it may very well have been. But living in Harlem, I've got great local lamb options, like La Marmite's great (and incredibly inexpensive) lamb shanks.

                          Moustache is the "pitza" place, yes. I love them for the great flavors on the pitza--mixed of multiple spices, tart currants, marinated tender meats. And my favorite hummous anywhere. Mamlouk has similar mezzes, but also has stews, rice dishes, etc. I think the owners are Iraqi, and have always thought of the food as Lebanese, but I'm not certain on either point.

                2. Mamlouk in the EV is a wonderful meal. It's a 6 course $40 prix-fixe and is fantastic food. There are seatings at 7 or 9 and they just keep on bringing the food, we have never eaten all of the food they've brought. The wine/drink menu is a bit limited.