I believe in second chances (ok, maybe that applies mostly to restaurants). The chef has an off day. The waiters are not in the best of moods. Maybe it’s just not the right dish or meal time that exemplifies the restaurant at its best. On that last point, let me just say the first time I went to Balaboosta was for dessert and tea, and it was pretty disappointing. But I did say, and I quote, “the rest of the menu sounded good, so I’m not writing it off just yet. I’ll definitely go back for another meal — just not for the dessert this time.” And that I did.
Brown sugar cubes
So when my friend Samar was in town and we were looking for place near SoHo, I remembered this Mediterranean spot again. The vibe is just as buzzy in the morning and looking over the menu, it was hard to decide between the breakfast pizzas, or something more sweet like the coconut brioche french toast. I wanted something with a little bit of spice to it, so I went with the Shakshuka, Moroccan baked eggs in spicy tomato cazuela, spinach, grilled country bread and added a side of merguez. Samar went with the lamb-egg special of which the name totally escapes me.
Lamb and eggs
Our food was satisfying and I’m glad I gave it a second chance. It’s probably pretty normal price-wise for the area, but for a meal and coffee here totaled about $50 — a little more than I think what you get portion-wise makes sense. If I’m looking in the area, I’d definitely go back though. We didn’t have to wait long for a seat and the service was great. But if you’re willing to sacrifice a short-wait time, and looking for the same genre of food for brunch at half the price, I’d visit Cafe Mogador in the East Village instead for their brunch specials.
214 Mulberry St # 1
near Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
Occasion: Out of town visitor catch-up session!
(Out of three stars)
Would I go back?: Yes (for brunch)…I still need to try that French toast!
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
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posted on: 03.17.11 | filed under: FOOD - "The Delicious", French, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Moroccan, Tapas
| tags: french food, mediterranean, moroccan food, Nomad east village, Nomad Ny, Nomad NYC, Tapas
No, it’s not just you. It just occurred to me too that I’ve been spending a lot of time in the West Village lately! I’m making no excuses for it though — it really has some of the cutest restaurants.
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posted on: 12.30.10 | filed under: American, Breakfast/Brunch, FOOD - "The Delicious", Mediterranean
| tags: american food, Breakfast/Brunch, greenwich village, little owl, mediterranean, nyc restaurants, the little owl, west village
I’ve been so excited to test out my new camera [it's kinda like an SLR on training wheels...goodbye point-and-shoot, hellllo Canon G11]. The first restaurant I happen to use it at was Naya — a Lebanese restaurant in Midtown East.
OK. First of all, Weirdest Welcoming Award goes to Naya.
“How many tonight?”
“Do you have a reservation?”
[Looks at half-empty restaurant] “I mean….”
“Ok, I’ll see what I can do.”
[uncomfortable laugh* He's probably trying to make a joke]
“This is all I have right now.” [points to a perfectly normal, empty table, sandwiched between two equally empty tables. The seriousness of his demeanor shows us he was in fact, not joking earlier]
The Meatpacking District may be best known for its night life, but that culture totally spills into their restaurants. There are doormen, lines, people dressed to the nines and menu prices that lets you know you’re paying probably as much to eat as you are to be seen eating there. Needless to say, God forbid you lose your reservation because now you’re all dressed up and stuck with a minimum two-hour wait at all the restaurants in the vicinity. That’s kind of what happened to us — only our saving grace was Fig & Olive.
After losing our 8pm reservation at Ajna Bar (formerly Buddha Bar…I had no idea they had changed their name either), we were stuck with waiting til midnight for the next slot. Across the street at STK, same story. After wandering a bit, we found Fig & Olive. The maître d’ was so nice and accommodating even though the five of us had just shown up without a reservation on a Saturday night. He said we could wait 15 minutes for an “unorthodox” table inside or a table outside. We opted to sit outside since it was a nice night. While we were waiting, the manager offered us drinks on the house. The service for the rest of the night fit the same standard — it was totally refreshing.
Crostinis Part One
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posted on: 09.29.10 | filed under: American, FOOD - "The Delicious", French, Healthy, Italian, Middle Eastern
| tags: American, crostinis, fig and olive, French, Healthy, Italian, meatpacking restaurants, mediterranean, Spanish