Category Archives: Moroccan

FOOD - "The Delicious" - Middle Eastern - Moroccan

Lunch at Cafe Mogador

June 25, 2012

By Bilal Mohammad

If you need to take a quick vacation, but you only have a lunch break to spare…then Café Mogador, located in the East Village, is the spot for you. When I walked into the Moroccan restaurant, I was drawn to the authentic design of the place. A quaint terrace, rustic wall treatments, and tiled mosaics all work to give the place a certain je ne se quois. On the inside, the restaurant feels very airy and breathable, despite being fairly busy during lunchtime.

I’ve found that I’ve grown bored with the fashion in which seafood is typically served at many New York restaurants. You can only eat grilled salmon over caesar salad or a fillet doused in lemon dressing so many times. I wanted to find a seafood entrée that was refreshing and scrumptious. I think I’ve found this in the Sautéed Salmon Crab Cake sandwich.

salmon crab cake

Despite offering an array of authentic Moroccan and Mediterranean items, the menu at Café Mogador remains friendly to those who might not be so experimental with cuisines. I was looking for seafood, but I was definitely conflicted before ordering because all the lunch sandwiches sounded so delicious! After I had narrowed my selection down to three sandwiches, my server helped me choose the crab cake over the grilled feta panini press and the signature Mogador burger.

salmon crab cake


It tasted fantastic. From the second that I bit into this sandwich, it must have taken me a quick five minutes to finish off the whole thing. The onions and tomatoes complemented the salmon cake very nicely, but it was the horseradish mayonnaise that took this sandwich to another level. It is a great option for those who might be a pescatarian diet, but would definitely taste just as good to all the meat lovers out there! [Read about brunch at Cafe Mogador here — if you haven’t been, you should change that!].


REPORT CARD

Meal: Lunch
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ***
Food: ***
Service: **
Would I go back?: Yes!


Restaurant Info:
Café Mogador

101 St. Marks Place
btw 1st Ave. & Ave. A
212-677-2226
East Village

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FOOD - "The Delicious" - Moroccan

Kiosk – Moroccan food in Harlem

February 23, 2012

Sometimes great restaurant finds start with Groupon.

Inside Kiosk


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At least, that was the case last weekend when my friend Asma was in the city. While we were trying to figure out what to eat, she told us about this halaal Moroccan restaurant she found on Groupon, Kiosk. I hadn’t heard about it since it’s all the way uptown (and by that I mean East Harlem uptown). I know exactly no restaurants there, so I was excited to check it out. And it didn’t hurt that when our friends Saqib and Jainal joined us, we got a ride up there too..Score!*
*Not that we just asked you guys to come along because you had a car, I’m just saying.

Draping curtains, dim lighting, and sketchings on the wall, and even one table sitting on a loft overlooking the restaurant, I was pretty taken at how much character was in such a small space.

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We ended up eating family style: two orders of feta cheese and spinach triangles, lamb shank tajine, chicken tajine, kofta tajine and chicken kabob.

Appetizer: Feta cheese and spinach triangles ($7)


Lamb shank tajine, $16


Kofta tajine, $14


Chicken tajine, $15


Chicken Kabob, $14

Everything was good, but I though the lamb shank tajine (lamb confit with prunes, almonds, and sesame seeds) was the superstar. I also never been that big on chicken tajine (the taste sort of falls a little flat for me), but having mixing it with the bed of seasoned chickpeas helped give it a little more flavor. Oh, and my favorite part: dessert…or brownie a la mode. It was serious.

Brownie a la mode

Kiosk also has an assortment of hookahs, so we dabbled with a chocolate mint flavored one. It ended up being a really fun, relaxing night. And for 6 people, shelling out only $15 (including tip) a person was not bad for a pretty varied three-course meal. Thank you, Groupon (and Asma :)).

REPORT CARD

Meal: Dinner
Occasion: An excuse to go uptown so we could use a Groupon before it expired. Truth.
Price: $$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ***
Food: ***
Service: *** The waitress was SO sweet and gave us great suggestions
Would I go back?: Yes if I’m in the area (it’s a bit of a hike for me normally)


Restaurant Info:
Kiosk

76-80 E 116th St
at Park Ave.
New York, NY 10029
(212) 348-9010
East Harlem

x
Shy


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FOOD - "The Delicious" - French - Mediterranean - Middle Eastern - Moroccan - Tapas

Nomad in the East Village

March 17, 2011

Nomad

I’ve been passing by Nomad in the East Village almost every day this week and it always looks so warm and inviting inside. The Moroccan/French restaurant serves traditional plates and tapas and has the most gorgeous decor of jeweled lanterns, tiled tables and dim lighting. Man, even their bathroom is so pretty I almost took a picture, but that would be weird so I didn’t. In the back, they have a beautiful enclosed courtyard-like space. The food, I found, was equally impressive.

Moroccan bread starter

Duck pastille

If you go, you HAVE to try the duck pastille a l’orange appetizer. It’s a filo pastry stuffed with duck, almonds, and pieces of orange. It has the most interesting mix of flavors, a little sweet and salty. The lamb tajine is also really tasty, made with prunes, carmelized onions, spices and comes with a side of couscous.

Lamb Tagine

Sorry, it’s a dark pic but the best I could do! The service was also very friendly. Overall a pretty great find I think. If you’re looking for entertainment, they have a live band and belly dancers on Thursday nights, along with a $25 prix fixe meal. I also found that if you sign up for Village Vines (www.villagevines.com), you can get 30% off your entire bill here (and also get a discount at a bunch of other reputable restaurants). Definitely worth a pit stop.


Restaurant Info:
Nomad

78 Second Ave.
btw 4th and 5th Streets
New York, NY 10003
212-253-5410
East Village

x
Shy

Breakfast/Brunch - FOOD - "The Delicious" - Middle Eastern - Moroccan

Best brunch ever at Cafe Mogador

December 22, 2010

Holly Jolly Christmas at Cafe Mogador

In my defense, I’ve known about Cafe Mogador‘s celebrated brunches for years, but just never had the chance to experience myself. Until last weekend. It was every bit as fantastic as I hoped. It’s easily now my favorite brunch spot in the city (definitely up there with Cafe Orlin!).

I’ve been there for dinner few times before, and it was good, but I I realize now that if you haven’t been there for brunch, you really haven’t experienced the best this place has to offer.

Moroccan Benedict

If you do go, get one of the brunch specials, like the Moroccan Benedict (above), which also comes with a glass of fresh orange juice and your choice of coffee, espresso or a cappuccino for only $12. The Moroccan Benedict is amazingly good — poached eggs over spicy tomato and green pepper sauce on an english muffin. It also comes with home fries and a side salad. I savored every morsel.

My other friends got an omelette with goat cheese and spicy sauce inside and also comes with an additional side of sauce, home fries and salad as well. Everyone left full and happy.

If you have space for it, order a chocolate croissant too. It doesn’t come out warm, but the chocolate filling is divine. Even our coffee tasted great.

One thing to keep in mind is there will be a wait, and they MAY tell you it’s 20 minutes when it’s really 45. But it’s worth it. So worth it.


Restaurant Info:
Cafe Mogador

101 St. Marks Place
btw 1st Ave. & Ave. A
212-677-2226
East Village

x
Shy

FOOD - "The Delicious" - French - Moroccan

Cafe Gitane in Nolita

July 1, 2010

The original plan was to visit Pulino’s, an inviting pizza/Italian restaurant I spotted on the corner of Bowery and Houston one night (more on that in a near-future post). But when Sarah and I got there after trekking 30 minutes in the pouring rain only to be told it was a 40-minute wait, we decided to wander around instead. Several round-about blocks later, we ran into another friend and a “local” who directed us to Cafe Gitane.

It’s a small, buzzy Northern Moroccan/French restaurant with a pretty fashionable crowd (couldn’t expect less in Nolita). By this time, we’re so hungry and everything looked great on the menu so we started off our 3-course meal with their baked feta with thyme, tomatoes and capers.

Baked Feta with capers, thyme, olives and tomatoes


It was pretty good, but I think I may have OD’d on the feta/thyme combo with my own cooking at home. Sarah went for a chicken baguette sandwich and I ordered a baked pasta with gorgonzola and roasted tomatoes. Both ended up being a lot more bland than we had hoped for.

Roasted Organic Chicken, Chipotle Mayonnaise, Roasted Tomatoes, Parmesan On Toasted Baguette

Baked Pasta, Roasted Tomatoes, Gorgonzola And Breadcrumbs

Sarah barely got through half her sandwich and I wasn’t really excited about my pasta either. We tried to salvage our meal by ordering their chocolate bread pudding in the end…

Chocolate Bread Pudding

…but unfortunately, tasted more like burnt bread pudding. We barely finished this one either. We were dying for some flavor! I read somewhere that it’s less about the food than the drinks here, which may be true. And the place is cute enough but probably won’t being going back for dinner. A nearby French restaurant I did like (but haven’t been to in ages) is Lucien — small dishes but pretty tasty.

Restaurant Info:
Cafe Gitane

242 Mott St.
at Prince St.
New York, NY 10012
(212) 334-9552
Nolita