Growing up in a region of Morocco known for its spice blends, Moussa Drissi first started cooking (with the help of his mother and sisters) at age 11. By 16, he was working with a restaurateur uncle, heading into nearby forests to gather fresh thyme, mint, and sage. He mastered both Moroccan and Northern Italian cuisine before coming to the United States in 1999, where he honed his restaurant chops and worked in catering with Oprah's former personal chef, Art Smith.
Drissi wants to introduce his guests to the hallmarks of Mediterranean cuisine: the saffron, cumin, and ginger, and the savory dishes spiked with apricots, dates, figs, and raisins. Everything's made from scratch in the kitchen, starting with the base components, such as preserved lemons, aged balsamic vinegar, and argan oil. Influences from around the Mediterranean combine with moroccan flavors; the kitchen slow cooks lamb, beef, and veggie tagines in clay pots, slice Black Angus steak thin for gyro platters, and grill salmon fillets with fresh herbs and crushed peppers. There's also a selection of wraps and paninis, including a Moroccan-style cheeseburger with marinated ground beef and a gyro pita wrap that yells "opa!" when you pick it up.