Friday, October 29, 2010

The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

Cafe Mogador
101 St. Marks Pl
(between 1st Ave & Avenue A)
New York, NY 10009
(212) 677-2226

Honestly, one of the most satisfying meals I've had in a long time. Although I've had my share of couscous, I had never been to a Moroccan restaurant before this experience, but this trip to Casablanca by way of the East Village was just the ticket. We started with hummus, which was great. The pita bread was incredibly thick, fluffy, and warm, and was a perfect counterpart for the hummus. I also had the blood orange martini which was vibrant orange in color, and didn't taste strong at all, just delicious!

Hummus $5

Blood Orange Martini $9

I knew immediately that I wanted to try a tagine for my entree, but there were so many delicious-sounding options. My friend had the lamb tagine with apricots and prunes, and I got the chicken with lemons and olives. When our food arrived, hers a lamb shank, mine a chicken breast, thigh and drumstick, I already planned on having leftovers... and yet, there were none. We both licked our plates clean, along with the tasty couscous that accompanied our tagines. I sometimes find couscous to be dry, but this wasn't, and especially with the flavorful sauces and incredibly moist meats, it was perfection.  I felt addicted almost immediately.

Lamb Tagine with Apricots and Prunes $17.50

Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives $16

Couscous (included with tagines) 

Looking at the food, it really is so simple and unpretentious, and yet the flavors are there, perfectly seasoned, perfectly moist meats, perfectly executed. It's about as exotic as comfort food can get!  Our dessert, the kadayif, was pretty good, not exactly what we were expecting, but still an interesting and non-traditional dessert choice compared to some of the others on the menu. It was crunchy and sweet with a floral, lavender honey, some berries and a sweet, creamy dollop of mascarpone.  A nice finishing touch to our worldly meal.  I would definitely definitely definitely eat here again, and would happily order either of our entrees or try some of the other awesome-sounding dishes.  Cafe Mogador was everything I thought it would be, absolutely lovely!

Kadayif with Lavender Honey, Berries, and Mascarpone $7


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