Delicious Moroccan Fare at Mekki NYC
Mekki NYC is a new Moroccan restaurant in Greenwich Village. It’s a beautiful restaurant done in a cobalt blue with some furnishings (like the beautiful light fixtures and the many pairs of babouche, traditional slippers) from Morocco. We walked to the back of the restaurant where the main dining area is located and started off with a lovely Moroccan Sauvignon Blanc (yes, Morocco makes wine for a millennia). The wine was had citrus and touch of floral notes on the nose. It is bright then fills the mouth with soft tannins and flavors of grapefruit and pineapple that lead to a bright citrus splash on the finish. My friend has the Summer Rose cocktail made of citrus vodka, watermelon, rose, pomegranate cordial, lime and soda that was light, fruity, refreshing and a touch sweet.
The salads on the current menu are primarily cooked salads but served cold. The tatouka, a flavorful mixture of stewed fire roasted peppers, tomato concasse, and piquillo stew that almost tastes like a shakshuka but without the eggs and it is a cold dish. The khiar maticha is a fresh salad of tomatoes, Persian cucumber and fennel seeds, lots of paprika and tomato-lemon oil that has lots of bold, smoky flavors going against the sweet, bright tomatoes and refreshing.
The cheese briwate are fried brick or warqa pastry dough that’s filled with paprika laced cheese and served piping hot. These rolls need to be eaten as soon as it lands on your table to get the right texture of gooey cheese and crispy, flaky brick dough.
We shared small plates of fried sardines and shrimp chermoula. The sardines were perfectly pan fried that it’s delicately crisp and had packed with tons of flavor from the herbaceous chermoula without distracting the delicious flavor of the oily fish. The shrimp chermoula was very good as well. The sweet shrimp cooked perfectly through and the herbal flavors were delicious but tasted lighter than the sardines since the latter can take a heavier hand of seasonings. All of these dishes and the salads were incredibly tasty with the fresh baked round loaf of khobz bread that is fluffy, tight crumbed and lightly sweet.
The main courses of the evening were the tagines that are stunners and can easily serve two people. There’s only two tagines served here – chicken hafeta and lamb a la Mounia. The chicken hafeta is a wonderfully stewed chicken thighs that tastes light and bright with tart citrus, briny green olives, fresh cilantro and preserved lemons. The lamb was insanely delicious from the caramel-sweet Halawi dates, cipollini onions and perfectly cooked and seared wedges of baby potatoes.
For dessert, we shared a plate of bateeya, leaves of fried filo dough drizzled with orange blossom-tinged creme anglaise sauce topped with powdered sugar and pistachio. It’s a good way to end the meal since it didn’t feel like a heavy dessert on the stomach and it’s not too sweet.
Overall, we had a great dinner here. The flavors were bold and resonates to what Moroccan food is. The food temperatures and textures were cooked perfectly. The wait staff were friendly and professional. I would go back for dinner again soon.
To view more photos of this visit, please view the gallery below or CLICK HERE for the photo set:[alpine-phototile-for-flickr src=”set” uid=”26389565@N00″ sid=”72157670247566728″ imgl=”flickr” shuffle=”1″ style=”gallery” row=”4″ grwidth=”1200″ grheight=”800″ size=”640″ num=”30″ shadow=”1″ border=”1″ align=”center” max=”100″]
15 W 8th Street
New York, NY 10011
Phone: +1 (212) 432-1508