Moroccan Restaurants in New York


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  • Zerza Mediterrano
    Meats are typically fired on a grill in customary Moroccan cuisine. But, despite an otherwise steadfast commitment to authentic, Moroccan food, Zerza owner Radouane ElJaouhari knows that, sometimes, a restaurant benefits from a little unconventional thinking. So when Zerza moved to a new location, ElJaouhari told his contractors to leave the existing clay oven in the kitchen. As a result, the distinctively Moroccan meats—ginger-marinated chicken-breast kebabs, spiced ground beef, lamb and chicken tagines—emerge juicier and with a more full-bodied flavor than their more “authentic” counterparts. Though the cooking style may cross cultural boundaries, the ambiance at Zerza’s is positively Moroccan. Punctured-brass lanterns spray the walls with golden rays, casting gentle light on clay pots and guests nestled in chairs adorned with burgundy upholstery. On Saturday nights, belly dancers sashay to North African pop tunes or the rhythmic clatter of pots and pans.
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    320 East 6th Street
    New York, NY US
  • Le Souk
    Aromas of roasted lamb, spicy merguez, and subtly sweet shisha waft across Le Souk's three stories of space, surrounding patrons with the scents of Moroccan cuisine. In the kitchen, the chefs stuff housemade lamb sausage and sprinkle strands of saffron into their fragrant sauces. Platters of couscous and tagines with duck confit, red snapper, or lobster help to lend distinctly North African flavors to the menu. Moorish archways link the restaurant's orange-walled rooms, which are lit by dangling lanterns and smoldering coals atop hookahs filled with fruit-flavored shisha. Guests can practice their smoke rings or smoke dodecahedrons while live dancers and occasional DJ performances entertain them throughout the night.
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    510 LaGuardia Place
    New York, NY US
  • Bistro Truck
    For Yassir Z. Raouli, it all started with a food truck. The Moroccan-born chef launched Bistro Truck as a way to bring his creative take on Moroccan street food to the masses, and it quickly became a fixture in Union Square. Today, Raouli brings that same North African flavor to Bistro Shopp. Here, Moroccan tagines, couscous, and merguez sausage pair with inventive takes on American classics, such as the lamb burger or fries splashed with harissa aioli.
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    124 Ridge St.
    New York, NY US
  • Jarfi's Restaurant & Bar
    Sheer red fabric flows from the belly dancer?s mid section as she swivels her hips. But all the attention is on her head, where a candelabra with candles aflame balances. The feat may be amazing to many, but it?s just another night at Jarfi's Restaurant & Bar. The dancing complements the menu of Moroccan treats, including shareable plates of creamy hummus, Moroccan eggplant dip, and tabbouleh salad. For heartier appetites, chefs whip up entree-sized seafood pastilles and chicken marinated overnight in a lemon sauce with saffron and cilantro. Beef and chicken kebabs are served right on the plate or tucked into a sandwich. Hookah is also available, and on select nights, musicians take the stage in one corner of the restaurant to play a continuous loop of ?Hot Cross Buns.?
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    27-35 21st St
    Astoria, NY US
  • Tagine
    One look at the circuitous journey Tagine's Head Chef Hamid Idrissi took to get to where he is today, and it's no surprise that he's most attracted to the "rustic, labor-intensive" quality of Moroccan food. Starting his adult life as a barister in Northern Morocco, the reluctant lawyer started spending more and more of his time coordinating elaborate dinner parties for friends. Perhaps he wanted to reclaim part of a childhood spent helping his mother prepare feasts, often for upwards of a hundred family members and friends. In those early days?which acted as an de facto apprenticeship?he learned from her how to balance Berber and Arabic flavors, discovering the subtle interactions of orange blossom water, cardamom, and mint. He also familiarized himself with the tools of the trade, working with massive earthenware pots and hand-welded copper pans. Even after 30 years in New York City, and years spent working his way up from line cook, he still finds that the flavors of his native Morocco suit him best. His passion for his culinary tradition is such that he often waxes poetical about the ingredients during his in-restaurant cooking classes. He expounds on the versatility of olive oil, which can enrich his signature Moroccan pheasant pie or add flavor to his homemade semolina bread. He elaborates on the virtues of roasted garlic, preserved lemon, and the rewards of doing the hard work of cooking yourself. That mindset is why he makes everything in house, from encasing his own lamb merguez sausages to enfolding sweets within fresh pastry dough. He also takes a hands-on role with drink preparation, and recommends the orange blossom sangria, also designed in his kitchen, to wash down the carefully crafted meals Just as Chef Hamid's menu showcases the traditions of his homeland, the decor of his restaurant highlights the many artforms that surrounded him as he grew up. He bedecks the walls in handwoven berber textiles, and lights the soft space with the colored glass Moroccan lamps. Belly dancers sinuously wend their way through the dining room. Even the hookah pipes are works of art, the flavorful smoke emerging from colored glass bulbs just as genies emerge from the tailpipes of Toyota Celicas every 150,000 miles to grant wishes.
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    221 W 38 St.
    Manhattan, NY US
  • Grata Restaurant and Wine Bar
    Behind a Brazilian mango wood-slab bar stands Ariel Lacayo, Grata's manager and house sommelier. His practiced pours grace grails with New- and Old-World vintages that pair perfectly with Chef Meny Vaknin's menu of fresh Mediterranean cuisine. By incorporating Italian flavors and bold spices into traditional recipes, Chef Vaknin's dishes bear a distinctively modern touch without relying on garnishes of cybernetic lettuce. All the while, a gauzy glow of subdued lighting glimmers off wood accents and exposed brick walls within the elegant eatery.
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    1076 1st Ave
    New York, NY US

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